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MTI claims its first commercial scalp, as Finalmente Global closes

It was responsible for funnelling clients to Mirror Trading International, now in provisional liquidation.
Image: Shutterstock

The collapse of Mirror Trading International (MTI), now under provisional liquidation, has claimed its first commercial casualty in the form of Finalmente Global, which this week announced that it was closing down due to the demise of MTI, which was placed in provisional liquidation in December after failing to pay out members requesting withdrawals.

Read:
FBI jumps onto MTI investigation (4 Jan 2021)
Liquidators swarm MTI (Dec 23)
MTI CEO goes AWOL, lawyers pull out (Dec 22)

Moneyweb understands an application for the provisional liquidation of Finalmente is being prepared and will be filed in high court within days. Finalmente Global is purported to be an internet advertising company that could generate returns of 106% by buying bulk ads and selling them for a profit. It apparently did this by encouraging investors to ‘lend’ bitcoin, much of which was channelled to MTI.

Cyber security and crypto expert Vaughn Victor, who is part of the team representing two Finalmente clients preparing to bring the court application, says it is reckoned that the company funnelled between 20 000 and 30 000 clients to MTI, a bitcoin investment scheme offering returns of up to 10% a month.

Like MTI, Finalmente was a multi-level marketing scheme offering referral marketing fees of between 1% to 3% on “downline” customers introduced to the scheme.

One Finalmente customer contacted by Moneyweb says he had no idea that there was any link between MTI and Finalmente, and passed on the following email from CEO Kobus van der Merwe, sent on December 22, 2020, supposedly putting sunlight between the two companies.

“The current state of affairs of Mirror Trading International is that of Mirror Trading International and NOT Finalmente Global. The concerning matters of Mirror Trading International do not affect the daily dealings of Finalmente Global. Finalmente Global merely advertised Mirror Trading International for and on behalf of certain business leaders (who bought and paid for these services). The association between the two companies ends at that. Nothing more.

“Finalmente Global (Pty) Ltd is a South African registered company. Crypto is not regulated in South Africa and is considered an asset. Therefore Finalmente Global is not FSCA registered as all our dealings are in Bitcoin. Should and if the need arises, Finalmente Global will comply with statutory regulatory bodies pertaining to the relevant bodies’ regulations.

“Finalmente Global is NOT Mirror Trading International. There is a significant difference between the platforms and their respective business models.

“There are contingency plans, and security protocols in place should anything cause me, Kobus van der Merwe, CEO of Finalmente Global to become incapacitated for whatever reason. Funds are not stored on our platform due to various security reasons.

“These are two different companies with no other affiliations.”

The Moneyweb reader, who asked not to be named, says his 84-year-old father invested R25 000 into Finalemente in the hope of boosting his pensioner’s income. There are now serious doubts about the recovery of that investment.

“I was under the impression that they bulk buy internet advertising space and sell it at a profit,” says the reader. “Now I think that the ‘advertising’ leg of their business was to pay influencers to create an impression that they can be trusted, knowing that people will do research and most likely believe the review videos they will come across on Youtube (many of them have since been removed, though there are still endorsements of Finalmente here].

“SA seems to be the Nigeria of crypto scams.”

Earlier this week, Finalmente posted the following notice and removed all other information from its website and other social media channels:

Dear Members,

It is with heavy heart that we have to inform you that due to the demise of MTI, we too, have lost a substantial amount of money, not only due to the investment we have/had with them but also the revenue stream of advertising.

As most of you know our business was advertising based, MTI being one of our largest clients in that aspect of our business. Due to the false impression of our association with MTI a large portion of our other clients have also cancelled our mandate.

Due to this we have lost a substantial portion of our income, as a result we are no longer lucrative enough to continue trading and we have had to retrench our staff and suspend all further trade.

This website will be suspended for an indefinite period. We will keep you advised of any further developments.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

With regret,

Management Finalmente Global (Pty) Ltd

In June 2020, Finalmente came to the attention of Behindmlm.com, a website monitoring multi-level marketing schemes around the world.

According to this Youtube video, the company came into existence in 2019 and was formed by three partners involved in online marketing and the online earnings industry. “Due to the many non-legit programs and scams actively operating on the internet it was presenting itself to be an opportunity to assist the community by creating a platform where members’ funds would be used in transparent ways to generate profits,” says the marketing blurb.

Moneyweb was unable to reach Finalmente for comment.

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Two Buffet Quotes:

“Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”

“A fool and his money are soon parted”

This too looks like the handwriting of Cheri Marks.

When do the FBI “JUMP” onto the Arms Deal and Gupta /Zuma state capture matter??

Smoke and mirrors…. pensioners should be protected against these things.

How is it possible to protect pensioners from these scams?

Government should close them and arrest the owners as soon as they appear.

Maybe the FSCA are the right people, give them more resources to cover bigger areas.

There were plenty of warnings, for months before the house of cards collapsed. After the first warnings, astonishingly, more and more “investors” piled in. Likewise, there have been many pyramid schemes – Kubus and Krion – since forever. People, pensioners too, have no excuse for not being skeptical and asking why somebody would want to pay an “investor” 10% per month if he could go and borrow money from the bank at less than 10% per year, if he has a legit business. The nanny state cannot protect people from their own stupidity.

When returning to the office after the December break I was shocked to hear that multiple people in the company I work for was invested in MTI. And these are people who are not stupid, they are just not financially literate and then for some unknown reason trust those who have dodgy or no financial expertise.

This is the equivalent of not only listening to the advice of a plumber regarding the open heart surgery that you require, but actually allowing him to perform the operation. If you do not want to do the research for your own investment at least ensure that those you entrust with your money have proven track records and expertise.

Ciaran, you have had busy time of late covering this matter.

How deep does this go.

”A Vasectomy means never having to say that you’re sorry”

Anonymous

Our regulators need to hit the ground running with Crypto tokens – I am absolutely amazed at the amount of ”numeric illiterate” South African investors in Bitcoin.

This vast ” compliance” issues, of course far beyond the knowledge of the novice investor in the street- is allowed to go on far too long before the regulators decide, that just cannot sit by idly, too long.

I always got the impression (despite my FX Treasury experience of > 40 years – where these things were never allowed to happen!), that the regulators themselves didn’t have a cooking clue what to do with Cryptos.

This situation eventually caused the ”Bitcoin financial paralysis” before the regulators stepped in – they closed the stable door after the horse has bolted – billions were lost by these gullible investors!

Lots of pensioners were ”raped” in the process believing that they invested in a high yielding asset!

I don’t think bitcoin is the problem though, the problem are companies like MTI that use bitcoin in their marketing to fleece. A product like EC10 from Easy Equities is a good example of a great product to buy crypto.

Absolutely – Fact remains there should be transparency from the regulator’s side the moment cowboys like MTI start ”marketing and selling” these ”products!

MTI (and others right now!), were manipulating people who were driven by their euphoria. Lip service was paid to lots of experienced market participants who cautioned them about their ”non-regulated” behaviour!

When doing the RE exams, one thing becomes very clear – inbred human propensities to swing from euphoria to fear and back again seem permanent with these types of schemes!

Behindmlm should be compulsory daily reading for the entire internet

You should also look at the names of these companies before investing in them, they tell a story.

Does Mirror Trading not sound like ‘Smokes n Mirrors’?
My Afrikaans not being that good, but the ‘mente’ in Finalmente sounds like minting, the last time (Final) your cash would be minted or even better, making someone else rich?

This might sound funny or stupid, but I’m sure the creators of these scams play around with words. After all, if I was their lawyer I would argue in court that “my clients were just playing around with words my lord and didn’t know ‘investors’ would fall for it!”

To me, it sounds like ”final moments”

Let me decipher Finalmente’s “Dear Members” letter:

“…with a heavy heart…”
No brick & mortal Asset Managers (or banks) formally communicate like that.
Indication that you’re dealing with clowns or social psychopaths.
Ponzis & MLM’s usually end with a “dear John” letter.

“…MTI being one of our largest clients…”
Merely implies MTI was their only client.

“This website will be suspended for an indefinite period. We will keep you advised…”
The above is why investing in the virtual space/crypto has no little real trust….a website is simply shut down. Friggin easy! That’s it. No regulation. No recourse.

Unlike a brick & mortar Asset manager / investment bank, they EXIST FOR REAL….and with their clients’ assets being digitized on platforms. Regulated. Cannot disappear, unless company folds…even then, the SARB/Fed etc could partially cover investors’ losses.

reminder that bitcoin is also not for real

I noticed from the data leak (see MyBroadband wesbite) that youtuber cryptoanalyser made R41 million out of MTI, yet when you go to his youtube channel all the MTI and Finalmente videos are gone, and comments are disabled. His newest scam he is sellign in Finiko.

Yep….. be careful of that dude
He also tries to rope people into dodgy schemes

I don’t believe that the management of Finalmente are entirely innocent. They knew exactly that MTI was a pyramid scheme and I believe the Management of MTI also made a killing off Finalmente’s involvement in so-called ‘advertising’.. What a load of BS!. To anybody/everybody out there; Bitcoin is great investment right now; DO NOT PUT YOUR MONEY INTO ANY PYRAMID scheme! Coming in at the bottom of a pyramid / mlm / ponzi means that YOU are paying for those at the top of the pyramid while you are a ‘bottom-feeder’. I learnt my lesson .. and hard lesson to learn and a financial loss that hurts deeply. OPEN A BTC WALLET with a REGISTERED organization that does not give you the hype about HOW much interest you can make and “if you refer people into our platform we will pay you bonuses too”.. DO NOT FALL FOR IT! Just buy your BTC (or other crypto currency), keep it in your wallet and watch the market prices and decide for yourself when you would like to either buy more (not with your life-savings, but with money you can AFFORD to lose if things go wrong) .. or SELL when your BTC value has increased to a reasonable profit over and above what you invested. Also : DO NOT BE FOOLED BY PEOPLE calling themselves Brokers .. there are many scammers out there !

Think about it; any investor can ‘advertise’ MTI and get referrals and get paid bonuses for those referrals. I could placed an ad for MTI to get referrals too and pocketed some ‘referral bonusses’ . the only difference is that I am an individual and Finalmente is a ‘organisation’ roping people in…. It would be interesting to see when the MTI database and all transactions related to BTC purchases and movement of money PLUS BONUS payouts are revealed, what the real truth is and what the real ‘agreement’ is/was between MTI and Finalmente. This is of course speculation on my part, but all that the investors want is the TRUTH.

End of comments.

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