Joint liquidators of Mirror Trading International claim R4 666 077 528 from 18 minds involved in the scheme called the biggest scam ever.
The four billion six hundred sixty six million, seventy seven thousand five hundred twenty eight rand will allow the liquidators to pay off MTI’s debts to its creditors.
The six joint liquidators also filed alternative applications to the High Court of Pretoria to obtain an order declaring the insolvent assets of King Johann Steynberg and the other 17 defendants jointly and severally liable to pay the liquidators R4 666 077 528, plus interest by 7% per year.
The minds of Mirror Trading International
The requests include an order declaring that the insolvent property of Steynberg, represented by Jacques André Fischer and Reunert Ndivhuho Kharivhe, as well as 17 other defendants, are liable under section 424 of the Companies Act for all debts and liabilities of MTI. The other 17 people are:
- Carlo Tommaso Ward
- Monica Coetzee
- Joseph Usher Bell
- Frederik Coenraad Rademan
- Clynton Hugh Marks, who owns 50% of MTI and his wife, Cheri Marks, program marketing manager
- Maria Matshidiso Ramanamane
- Thomas William Fraser
- Elizabeth Kathleen Malton
- Romano Lorenzo Samuels
- Jacobus Eckley
- Vincent Ward
- Leonard Wesley Gray
- Andrea Gran Caw
- Nerina Steynberg, wife of Johann Steynberg
- Gerald Lassen
- Don Nkomo
The liquidators are also seeking an order declaring Steynberg and the aforementioned defendants responsible for all liabilities and losses incurred by MTI.
They also ask the court to quash the depositions made by MTI to Steynberg and the persons named on the defendant list, with the exception of Rademan, under the Insolvency Act.
These are the sums that the minds have to pay back
They also demand that the defendants be sentenced to return the following bitcoin amount:
- First and second defendants as Steynberg trustees: 31.33569713 bitcoin or R5.427.211.31
- Charles Ward: 7,89112396 bitcoin or R1,878,562.02
- Coetzee: 0.31107597 bitcoin or R66.541.10
- Bell: 25.78292183 bitcoin or R4.586.609.95
- Clynton Brands: 289.8723002 bitcoin or R58.528.749.14
- Cheri brands: 43.80773142 bitcoin or R8.967.379.82
- Ramanamane: 2.24362727 bitcoin or R455.884.34
- Fraser: 14.5176913 bitcoin or R4.004.859.66
- Malton: 60.32592343 bitcoin or R14.082.534.54
- Samuels: 0.21419153 bitcoin or R39.959.50
- Eckley: 1.50924551 bitcoin or R215.612.29
- Vincent Ward: 0.117429 bitcoin or R18.308.00
- Gray: 0.04150939 bitcoin or R10.511.90
- Caw: 13.80847603 bitcoin or R2.385.249.71
- Nerina Steynberg: 12.37610148 bitcoin or R2.203.666.76
- Let: 43.12869094 bitcoin or R8.867.417.14
- Nkomo: 4.37671854 bitcoin or R762.713.68.
These values were calculated on the value of the bitcoin on the date of each sale by MTI to Nkomo, or on the value of the bitcoin sold to Nkomo on the date of the order, whichever is greater.
Presentations and readings at Mirror Trading International
According to the abstract of the liquidators ‘arguments filed with the court, Steynberg and the other defendants who were part of the MTI’s “management and marketing team” told people that the investors’ bitcoins were pooled and held in an account with a intermediary.
They also stated that MTI is trading very profitably on trading platforms, making daily profits, that MT has never made any losses, except for one day, the bitcoin trading pool grows every day and bitcoin investments of MTI continue to grow at least 1 0.5% per month.
Furthermore, they said that MTI was able to produce positive trading results every day thanks to a great electronic code or a bot coded by Steynberg or someone named by him.
This bot had artificial intelligence and could project foreign currency exchanges with such precision that it predicted trading activity in foreign exchange (“forex”) markets with great accuracy.
When the FSCA investigated MTI, it found that Steynberg and Cheri Marks, the principal promoter of MTI, represented to the FSCA and all MTI investors that:
- Due to FSCA concerns, MTI moved the entire bitcoin trading pool from the then trader, FX Choice, where it would be held, to a new trading platform called Trade 300, because Steynberg was concerned that FX Choice might block all the bitcoin it held
- Trade 300 was not a licensed forex trader
- The bitcoins frozen at that stage on the FX Choice account, about 1,282 bitcoins, were not part of the MTI investors’ bitcoins but belonged to Steynberg
- MTI moved 16 444 bitcoin in four transfers from July 21, 2020 to July 24, 2020.
These representations were false because:
- MTI did not move bitcoin from FX Choice since MTI’s account was frozen
- Trade 300 was not a broker but just Steynberg’s alter ego
- The frozen bitcoin from FX Choice did not belong to Steynberg but to MTI and was part of the so-called bitcoin trading pool invested by MTI members.
And more read
Investors’ bitcoin, as grouped into MTI, was not immediately transferred to any FX trader account but, instead, diverted to Steynberg accounts and the management and marketing team controlled, notably by the Marks pair, or diverted to a bitcoin wallet , owned and controlled by MTI, Steynberg and the management and marketing team or paid into Cloudbets, a gambling service.
There were no profits on any trading platform and all daily trading reports, reports that MTI investors’ bitcoins were growing every day as a result of trading profits and via trading bonuses, reports that MTI had continuously traded at profit, reports that an intelligence bot affected MTI’s bitcoin trading and reports that the bot traded in real time was fake.
Contrary to what is represented for MTI investors and the public, MTI has never achieved any growth in bitcoin as a result of trading activities, it could never reflect such growth in bitcoin for investors and MTI could never, from any trading activity. in good faith, pay investors their bitcoin withdrawals and bitcoin growth. MTI simply used the bitcoins received from subsequent investors to pay previous investors.
The difference between bitcoin deposited and withdrawn by MTI is at least 6,900 bitcoins, with a current rand value of approximately R676,243.12 per bitcoin, a total unaccounted loss of R4,666,077,528.00.
The number of bitcoins that should have been in MTI in December 2020 and that MTI represented to its investors and the public it had when it imploded and went into liquidation was approximately 22,222,548 bitcoins at a present rand value of approximately R600,000.00 per bitcoin, with a total rand value of approximately R13,333,528,800.00.
Mirror Trading International was an illegal business
The liquidators further state in their court documents that MTI was an illegal business because it provided financial services without the necessary license from the FSCA, acted as an over-the-counter derivatives provider and provided, as part of its business, a financial service or market infrastructure in violation of the provisions of the Financial Sector Regulation Act.
MTI also conducted a collective investment scheme without being registered as a manager, promoted directly or indirectly, knowingly adhered to or entered into and participated in a fraudulent financial transaction in violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
Having run an illegal Ponzi scheme, MTI was effectively insolvent from the start.
Other reckless or fraudulent transactions included fraud on MTI’s creditors, no corporate governance, transparent accounting or financial accounting, and no records for MTI employee tax or value added tax.
The liquidators also specified that Steynberg and Clynton Marks shared 10% of MTI’s weekly “profit” with each other, Steynberg’s family members and the Marks couple were put in charge of the top management structure without any adequate qualifications, while the most of them have been involved in previous illegal schemes, including BTC Global.