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Federal Court stops gambling addict leaving country

Federal Court stops gambling addict leaving country

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been successful in obtaining court orders to stop the head of a listed company leaving Australia as ASIC investigates missing…

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been successful in obtaining court orders to stop the head of a listed company leaving Australia as ASIC investigates missing funds.

ASIC is investigating the disappearance of $1.2 million after a pubic share issue last year for WinTech Group Ltd. Kim Wong, the company's managing director, has been barred from leaving Australia by the Federal Court until Thursday. His girlfriend, Yun Jung Choi, a former croupier at Crown Casino in Melbourne, has been barred from leaving the country until Monday.

No charges have been laid and investigations continue.

Records from Crown indicate that Wong lost over $400,000 between January and September 2009. Wong has previously admitted that he gambles most days.

ASIC has told the Federal Court that it is investigating transfers of funds from WinTech's accounts to those of Wong and his girlfriend. ASIC is looking at a particular transaction that involved the transfer of around $1.4 million that was withdrawn from the WinTech Group share subscription account before 17 April last year. At the Federal Court hearing, ASIC told Justice Goldberg that it believes the sum had been misappropriated.

On its website, WinTech describes itself as a "next generation infocommunications service provider". Wong also makes reference to the "new economy" on the site, telling browsers that "it is crucial that our management team is competent enough to pilot through the turbulence that lies ahead".

WinTech was previously known as CircleCom, but changed its name to WinTech in 2008, in an attempt to re-brand the company after a number of disgruntled investors commenced court action that received publicity in the media.

WinTech decided to launch a public share issue in early 2009 in order to fund the acquisition of another company.

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