New submissions by a South African regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and liquidators have exposed the web of lies and deceptive tactics that were used by Mirror Trading International (MTI) CEO Johann Steynberg and others to perpetuate the Ponzi scheme.
In its report filed with the South African court, the regulator also exposes the true extent of losses that were incurred by the bitcoin investment company. For instance, in what the FSCA calls the â€œfirst period,â€ MTI had a â€œtotal of nearly 51 bitcoin (that) were deposited with Belize-based forex broker FXChoice, but 22 â€” or 43% â€” of these coins were lost by the traders.â€ However, at this point there was â€œno multi-level marketing involved.â€
Nevertheless, this would change in the second period â€œwhen Steynberg purportedly introduced a computerized trading botâ€ that falsely guaranteed returns of 10% each day. The report explained:
In the last period, Steynberg claimed all investorsâ€™ bitcoin had been transferred to a new broker, Trade 300. Still, when the FSCA investigated this claim, â€œit concluded that Trade 300 was a fraudulent creation of Steynbergâ€™s and does not exist as a bona fide brokerage,â€ according to a report by Moneyweb.
MTI Shareholding Structure
Meanwhile, MTI liquidators have similarly submitted â€œevidenceâ€ that exposes the bitcoin investment companyâ€™s actual shareholding structure. The liquidatorsâ€™ position is paraphrased by the Moneyweb report: â€œBased on the evidence provided by the liquidators, MTI was owned 50-50 by Steynberg and Clynton Marks, who would divvy up 10% of the profits between them every Monday.â€
However, the liquidators still concede that Steynberg seems to have been the only individual in MTI dealing with a broker in Belize and an India-based server team. â€œHe would supply trading results from the broker to the server team for capture into the back-office system,â€ the report notes.
In the meantime, another director of MTI, Cheri Marks, is facing accusations of using her position in the organization to reward her associates. For instance, Marks is accused of appointing Monica Coetzee to the position of marketing director despite her lack of required qualifications. In addition, Marks is accused of bumping Coetzeeâ€™s salary from just over $1000 per month to one BTC per month.
Following these proceedings, a Western Cape High Court is now expected to hear arguments by those that want a final liquidation to be granted and those against it. According to a report, these proceedings are scheduled to be heard in the third week of June 2021.
What are your thoughts on the latest revelations about MTIâ€™s huge losses and its shareholding structure? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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