Liquidators seek expanded probe of alleged South African Bitcoin scheme

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Less than a month after a Cape Town Supreme Court issued a preliminary liquidation order against Mirror Trading International, the liquidators are seeking enhanced powers to investigate the company and recover investor money.

According to Herman Bester, one of the four liquidators appointed, the team must operate across multiple jurisdictions to determine the full scope of MTI’s operations.

The liquidators are currently trying to keep track of all of the company’s assets. After this process, the team will submit a formal report to the court indicating the likelihood of a successful return of investor funds to the victims of the alleged fraud.

According to Bloomberg, the courts can issue a final order for the liquidation proceeding on March 1 if the proceeding is not challenged. The first meeting of MTI’s creditors takes place two months after the court order to vote on a final liquidator. After previous liquidations related to crypto scams, MTI’s creditors may have a long way to go.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, both the Texas States Securities Board and the South African Financial Services Conduct Authority took action against the company in 2020.

Accused of misleading its clients into investing in its program, MTI promises a 10% monthly return on investment. The alleged Bitcoin (BTC) MLM program is also said to have more than 260,000 investors from over 170 countries.

However, the FSCA investigation of the company’s operations found no evidence of successful trading by the company. Overall, MTI is believed to hold around 23,000 BTC worth over $ 880 million at the current Bitcoin price.

A leaked internal communication reportedly indicated that executives at the company were unaware of the scam, according to South African media company The Citizen. According to the Zoom meeting in question, only CEO Johann Steynberg had complete control over the company’s operations.

Steynberg is supposedly AWOL and should be in Brazil. Plus, nobody in the company has heard from him since December 2020. The last official communication from the Polokwane resident was a denial of allegations against the company.

MTI is one of several suspected crypto-related scams in South Africa. These investment programs take advantage of Bitcoin’s popularity in the country to fleece unsuspecting victims.

Back in July, Willie Breedt, operator of the VaultAge crypto scam, which reportedly stole over $ 16 million from 2,000 investors, was declared bankrupt. Breedt had previously fled the country to neighboring Mozambique during the heat of the investigation.