MTI ‘masterminds’ on hook for R4.7bn after SA’s largest Bitcoin scam

Owing to the lack of understanding about cryptocurrencies, the ability for scams to occur in the world of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchain-based products is very evident. It seems almost every week there is a story of a new scam, Ponzi scheme, or theft of millions by those seeking to acquire ill-gotten gains from the technologically unsavvy. This, of course, creates a terrible image for crypto as many people associate the technologies with crime and believe if they deposit any of their hard-earned funds into a cryptocurrency trading platform, it’s as good as gone. This scepticism remains true in our great Rainbow Nation, where white-collar crime and corruption are considered the rule and not the exception. But remember, financial fraud dates back to biblical times and continues to exist in many other established markets (think Bernie Madoff). There’s still so much decentralised finance (DeFi), as a system, can offer the world. In this article, which first appeared on MyBroadband, Jan Vermeulen discusses how Mirror Trading International pulled off the largest South African Bitcoin scam and the legal repercussions of their actions. – Ross Sinclair

“Masterminds” of South Africa’s biggest Bitcoin scam summonsed — on the hook for R4.7 billion

by Jan Vermeulen

Mirror Trading International’s liquidators have issued a joint summons against eighteen individuals to pay R4,666,077,528 to cover the scheme’s debts — with 7% interest.

According to the liquidators, these individuals are “masterminds” of the scheme, and it has asked the Pretoria High Court to hold them liable in terms of the Companies Act.

They argue that Mirror Trading International (MTI) was an unlawful Ponzi scheme and factually insolvent since inception.

The liquidators also contend that the defendants knew this.

“[The defendants] were at all relevant times aware of the fact that MTI was trading in insolvent circumstances as well as of the actions perpetrated and…

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