Former van Eyk Research chief executive Mark Thomas has been sentenced to one year and three months’ imprisonment, to be served by way of an Intensive Correction Order, for using his position as a director dishonestly with the intention of directly or indirectly obtaining an advantage for himself.

In a media release from ASIC on Wednesday morning, the regulator said Thomas was ordered to complete 250 hours of community service.

Between about 31 January 2014 and 20 February 2014, Thomas dishonestly used his position as director of New Zealand-based van Eyk Research subsidiary Blueprint Investment Management Limited by recommending and facilitating Blueprint investing nearly $5 million in a separate fund, the Wholesale Enhanced Income Fund.

The funds were then loaned to another company, TAA Melbourne, to purchase an interest in van Eyk Research, of which Thomas was also CEO.

By doing this, Thomas used his position as a director dishonestly with the intention of directly or indirectly gaining an advantage for himself.

These transactions prevented a third party from gaining control of van Eyk Research, ensuring that Thomas was able to remain as CEO and chief investment officer of van Eyk Research.

Judge Bourke took into consideration Thomas’ guilty plea, the loss of his career in financial services, and that as a result of his conviction he will be banned from managing a corporation for five years.

Thomas was sentenced on 14 November 2022 at the New South Wales District Court, after previously pleading guilty to breaching his directors’ duties on 31 May 2022.

The company went into liquidation in 2014.