CFTC Takes Action against MTI: Imposes $1.7B Fine for Bitcoin-Related Forex Fraud

CFTC Takes Action against MTI: Imposes $1.7B Fine for Bitcoin-Related Forex Fraud

In a landmark ruling, the Commodities Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) has secured a staggering amount in restitution of USD $1.7 billion from
Mirror Trading International. The South African company was allegedly involved
in a massive Forex fraud scheme.

The legal matter
involves a complaint filed by the CFTC on June 30, 2022, which highlighted
fraudulent activities, including deceiving retail investors through Forex
transactions, violating registration requirements, and flaunting regulations
governing commodity pool operators (CPOs).

CFTC Alleges
Multilevel Fraud Scheme

According to the CFTC, MTI’s
Founder and CEO, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg, played a central role in
orchestrating this elaborate scam. Steynberg, acting both individually and as
MTI’s company head, solicited Bitcoin from unsuspecting individuals. He allegedly
enticed them to participate in an unregistered commodity pool supposedly
operated by MTI.

„This settlement
with MTI and default judgment against Steynberg represented the latest stage in
our battle against fraudsters who victimized over 23,000 individuals from the
US,” said the Director of Enforcement at the CFTC, Ian McGinley.

„Here, the
fraudsters made the most modern of promises, claiming their advanced
intelligence software with Bitcoin as the base currency would create untold
wealth for investors, but were actually committing a classic form of fraud, a
multilevel marketing scam.”

During the
period the scams were conducted, Steyberg allegedly managed to accumulate a staggering 29,421 Bitcoins,
equivalent to over USD $1.7 billion by the end of the scheme, from more than
23,000 US citizens and numerous others globally. According to a report by Finance
Magnates, the perpetrators
of this scheme systematically misappropriated all the Bitcoins entrusted to
them by the pool participants.

Recovery Challenges and Fine of $3.4 Billion

In April, a court in
Texas issued
a staggering fine of USD $3.4 billion against Steynberg. As outlined in the court documents, Steynberg is
mandated to pay USD $1.7 billion in restitution to victims who fell prey to the
scheme’s deception. The remaining USD $1.7 billion was levied as a civil
penalty.

MTI, founded in April
2019, rapidly gained recognition as one of the world’s fastest-growing
cryptocurrency trading platforms, with a user base exceeding 260,000
individuals. The company attributed its success to a unique trading algorithm
employing AI and machine learning for profitable trades on behalf of its users.

However,
allegations of fraud and misconduct surfaced in late 2020, leading to MTI’s
provisional liquidation by a South African court in 2021. The penalty imposed
against Steynberg marked the largest-ever civil monetary fine that the CFTC had imposed on any individual or company.

This article was written by Jared Kirui at www.financemagnates.com.

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