MTI plans countersuit after FSCA raid on offices and homes of execs

Will also be seeking damages.
‘We have said it all along: we believe we do not fall within the ambit of the SA regulations that the FSCA says we do’ – MTI. Image: Moneyweb

Mirror Trading International (MTI) says it is preparing a countersuit after a raid at several locations on Monday by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

The FSCA arrived with search and seizure warrants at MTI’s offices in Stellenbosch and Polokwane, as well as the Durban homes of two MTI executives. The warrants were issued in terms of the Financial Sector Regulation Act.

Responding to the raids, MTI’s marketing head Cheri Marks says the company’s lawyers are preparing to approach the courts to have the warrants set aside, and to claim damages from the FSCA.

‘Personal vendetta’

She claims FSCA divisional executive for investigations and enforcement Brandon Topham is on a personal vendetta against MTI – something Topham denies.

“We are fully compliant with all laws,” says Marks.

“In August this year our senior executives had a meeting with the FSCA at their offices where they requested certain documents – which we provided. Also at that meeting we demonstrated our live trades and provided proof of our bitcoin balance.

“We are 100% convinced this was a fishing expedition and that the application brought by the FSCA was illegal in the application, the merit and the execution.”

Topham issued the following statement to Moneyweb:

“On 26 October 2020 the FSCA executed three search and seizure warrants, which were issued by three separate high courts in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, on application by the FSCA, at the home of the chief executive officer of MTI, Mr Johan Steynberg, the home of the marketing director of MTI, Mrs Cheri Marks, and the MTI offices in Stellenbosch.

“The evidence gathered during the search and seizure operations will be used in the ongoing investigation into the activities of MTI.

“The warrants executed were not Anton Pillar orders [a form of civil search warrant] but were issued in terms of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, which allows us to obtain warrants to conduct search and seizure of information relating to a financial sector contravention.

“We do not conduct criminal investigations and our investigations are in terms of the Financial Sector Regulations Act, which is aimed at protecting the South African investing public and to ensure that a secure financial sector exists. Our investigations may lead to referrals of evidence to other authorities or to the SAPS [South African Police Service].

“Our next step is to examine the evidence and compare it with other information obtained. On conclusion we will make decisions involving whether we should take administrative steps against any person and or refer the evidence obtained to other bodies.”

MTI’s switch to bitcoin

MTI says it ceased forex trading several months ago to ensure it remained compliant with local regulations, and switched to bitcoin trading, using an automated trading algorithm. It is now using an offshore unregulated broker to prevent its trading activities from being shut down and its accounts frozen, says Marks.

In August, the FSCA announced it was investigating MTI and recommended that clients ask for their funds to be returned.

Read:
FSCA investigating Mirror Trading International
Three views on a so-called ‘black box’ investment: MTI
Get-rich-quick scheme pulls a crowd, despite regulators calling time-out

Marks earlier told Moneyweb that it has 170 000 members worldwide, with roughly 17 000 bitcoin that it trades on their behalf.

That’s worth more than R4 billion at current bitcoin prices.

In a Youtube webinar this week, MTI claimed 198 000 members.

On Tuesday, Marks said the number of members has now grown to more than 200 000.

She adds: “If Topham says they saw [MTI’s] live trades and bitcoin balances, why did they lie about that in the high court application and why was it omitted from the statement they put on their website?

“We understand that cryptos need to be regulated and we support that,” says Marks. “We provide daily trading stats so members can verify our trading performance. Over and above this we offer limited live trading views each week. We have been as transparent and open as possible, in fact even more so than others operating in this space.”

The FSCA says MTI has told it that it is taking clients’ funds in the form of bitcoin, which are then pooled in a single trading account on a forex platform. These funds are then traded using an automated high-frequency algorithm.

Marks told Moneyweb that the returns posted on Monday averaged 1.5% for the day.

Topham refutes allegations that the FSCA lied to the courts in pursuit of its investigations into MTI.

‘Contradictory information’ received

“We also place on record that demonstrations have been made to us with the view to convince us that live trading was taking place and that bitcoin balances existed,” says Topham.

“We can only say at this stage that we have not been able to independently confirm the accuracy of this demonstration and contradictory information has also been received.

“Obtaining independent evidence to support certain statements made to us (including existence of the trading and balance of investor funds) is part of the reason why we needed to request the court to allow us to gather further evidence.

“MTI previously indicated that they were trading in foreign exchange and that they now trade in crypto assets. We wish to point out that both these trading operations were and are implemented by means of derivative financial instruments. The FSCA has jurisdiction over all derivative instruments regardless of what asset or commodity forms the basis for the trades. We thus reject the statement that we do not have jurisdiction to investigate the matter.

“Our investigation will continue without fear, favour or prejudice and we are not threatened or deterred by unfounded defamatory remarks,” says Topham.

“Our earlier warning remains in place where we advised the public to exercise extreme care when ‘investing’ with any person or organisation not properly registered as Financial Service Providers or in terms of a properly executed prospectus registered with the CIPC [Companies and Intellectual Property Commission] or registered as a financial institution with the Prudential Authority.”

Read:
Joining MTI may end in tears
Anonymous data dump ‘spills the beans’ on Mirror Trading International

In an MTI webinar released earlier this week, it was claimed that the FSCA is paid by the banks and is doing their bidding in an effort to halt the outflow of funds into crypto from the banking system.

Says Marks: “We have said it all along: we believe we do not fall within the ambit of the SA regulations that the FSCA says we do, and we will be challenging this in court. We will also be seeking damages.”

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So if FSCA does not have the evidence required to shut MTI down. What evidence was the grounds for their warning to “Investors” to take their money out?

I think MTI is probably a scam but I agree. Take FSCA to court and make them pay for damaging a “business” without evidence.

The fact that Cheri Marks (nee Ward) vigorously punted collapsed schemes like BTC Connect before is enough evidence that something is not well.

The “business” wont fail if people take out their money, since the trading bot will trading and keep bringing in great rewards for Cheri and whomever else put their money in, right? Unless it’s a ponzi scheme where new investors are required to pay older investors and for the main people in schemes lifestyles (Cheri’s very expensive cheap and mansion for example).

If making money is as easy as using a trading bot won’t everybody become a billionaire in quick time?

In any financial market, if you have an advantage why would you share it with other people? Because when you share that advantage and more people take exploit it the market will correct, destroying your advantage. Setting aside the legality of what MTI is doing, if you provide a financial service like the investing that MTI does you fall under the FSCA. Therefore you need a license and the staff needs to be accredited, trained, compliance needs to be done etc etc. Just the fines for all those transgressions and the license registration will add up to a fair amount. Let’s see if everyone is equal in front of the law.

This imaginary bot is exactly the same as these shysters selling stock-trading software. If the bot or the software actually work, why sell it to others? Use it yourself to make billions.

Oddly,it’s hard to disprove things when MTI at their last meeting did not provide any concrete evidence of anything. And when asked to provide it all that comes are excuses and faked video clips. So unfortunately they have to be raided and the proof forced out – whichever way the chips may fall. I do know which horse i’m betting on however (And their name doesn’t start with an M)

My request to withdraw my Bitcoin invested in MTI is now older than 48 hours which is the max MTI claims it will take to process. Goodbye BTC. MTI is creating a lot of noise so they can slip away while the MTI faithful, blindly believe all their lies. Google Steynberg and Kipi MyDeposit. A leopard does not change it spots it just finds a new hiding pace. MTI, you have failed your members but it was your plan all along. You can kiss your BTC goodbye if you still have funds in MTI.

Did your withdrawal go through successfully yet?

Go after Liz Malton in Durban – she is scamming everyone left right and center to pay for her lavish holidays and lifestyle.

They evidence needed to shut them down is the fact that they are operating in the financial sector without a license, which btw carries up to a R10,000,000.- fine plus up to 10 years jail time for each person involved.

If their trading bot is able to realise 1.5% per day, why does MTI confine their business model to bitcoin? They can expand their client base and scale their business by trading oil, wheat, corn, share indexes etc.

The financial institutions will flood them with funds. If they have this magical trading system, why do they target unregulated instruments? Why do they focus on unregulated products and unsophisticated clients? If the owners of bitcoin are anonymous and the movements of the coins cannot be traced, how does that investor provide proof of ownership of his investment? What recourse does the investor have when he is unable to withdraw his investment?

When the scheme collapses, the investors will blame the FSCA for not acting soon enough to protect them.

Sensei, when you are good with what you do, and you can focus on one product, I think keep it simple. At MTI they trade daily with bitcoin and one get also the bitcoin increase profit. I started when the price was around $5300 now the price is around $13,750
What you also need to understand, or maybe you know. MTI grow your bitcoin value daily. So it may happen that in any day or in 6 months time the price of bitcoin take a tumble with $3000 Then the growth of your bitcoin is hedged by the value it increased from daily trading. You then do not just fall back to be on par with the price and hate yourself for staying in too long.

And the paid shills crawl out of their holes.

@Investigateall, this sounds legit, could you send me more info. I can then send you this great opportunity I have with whitening toothpaste. You can sell it on to your network and you can retain a % of the sales, the bigger the network, the more money in it for you. I mean everyone uses toothpaste right, no brainer!! It’s a passive income strategy that helps you realize your full potential…..

The ONLY reason why they use Bitcoin is because its easier to obtain as a currency (asset) and use it to cash out in FIAT while still believing that they cant be tracked. Games UP MTI !!

Bypass MTI and invest directly using a trusted platform such as Luno.

Cheaper, safer, better …

Cannot help to think about the saying: A fool and his money is soon parted. And: If it is too good to be true then it is not.
Good luck to all the fools defending and investing in MTI.

Yes, LuluAlert, you sound so wise. I have removed my 500 dollar that I put in and left my winnings on the table. Most people that partake here put small money in. Next time, think before you sound so wise.

If you live your life by “sayings” as oppose to do proper due diligence – you will most properly “die” by them sayings to ….. So the only fool left in the room will be you…. “Critical thinking” seems to be a scares commodity ….

Dear EricVenter,do try harder,my daily allotment of hilarity certainly hasn’t been fulfilled but you’re contributing significantly

So, I wanted to check on MTI. I called the FSCA on 24 June to check any reports on the company. I actually asked to speak to Brandon Topham, but he was not there, and they do not give his cell number out. I spoke to Letlhogonolo Masa and he replied that the company is not registered with the FSCA and apart from that, the FSCA do not regulate crypto currencies. I am sure that my call was recorded and can be verified. I am a happy trader/partaker of the MTI program. The trading percentages that is achieved daily do not look far fetched to me. It ranges from 0.2% to 1.8% at good days and I recieve 40% of the daily figure. I attended meetings and is informed about the workings of the company. The risks was pointed out to me and I placed 500 dollar prepared to kiss it goodbye. All the meetings at MTI start with a disclaimer that what they introduce you to, is not considered financial advice, and that past performance has no effect on future gain.
When you look at the members of MTI, about 200,000 and the bitcoin in trade. You calculate the Rand figure, the you come to an average of around R20,000.00 per member. There are members with bigger amounts, probably in the millions. They are regarded as educated investors, and do investments without any laws to protect them. These bigger investors also create a situation that the average investment is lower than R20,000.
I am happy to be part of the MTI program. I also have a good understanding about the flaws of FIAT currency and the corruption that exist in that space. In my eyes, the FSCA for now seek to protect this FIAT currency that is busy crumbling. I sure hope that the allegations of MTI being a ponzi scheme will be investigated, and if found to be not true, that MTI will sue for defamation.
I am aware that Brandon Topham was a director at the failed Ecsponent that lost billions for investors. He resigned in a good time and will not reflect back on it. Fact is, he was a director of a company that lost billions for investors. What will he say? “When I left, everything was good” Or did he know it was time to leave?

You’re confusing crypto currency with scammers stealing crypto currency.

@Investigateall Can what MTI offers be considered an investment into a financial instrument or asset? If the answer is yes then they need to be regulated. This is not about BitCoin or any other asset, there are legal entities that offer investments into crypto. Have MTI register for a license, comply with regulation and then just go from there. Do you remember Cambist? They also said that they didn’t need to register or fall within the ambit of the FSCA (then FSB). Luckily that problem sorted itself out.

As I wrote, I checked with the FSCA, they responded that they do not regulate crypto currencies. Who else should I have phoned? MTI is looking for a regulator, it is not a lot of crooks. They were proactive and went to the FSCA to introduce themselves and explain what they do. Is that what crooks do?

@Investigateall I had one simple question in my comment and you did not answer it. “Can what MTI offers be considered an investment into a financial instrument or asset?” Yes or No?

No, this is not an investment, it is trading with risk

So collectively pooling a group’s sheep/potatoes/rands/dollars/slaves and then using this to do *magic* to grow said sheep/potatoes/rands/dollars/slaves and redistribute the gains is not a commercial/financial instrument? Pull another finger son
Do you grasp what trade means even?

SARB, SARS, FIC and the FSCA have acknowledged that crypto is not a financial instrument and hence does not fall under their jurisdiction;

“Statement on consultation paper on crypto assets
Wednesday, 16 January 2019: The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), National Treasury (NT), South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) this week released a consultation paper on crypto assets….

…The statement further noted that no specific legislation or regulation existed on the use of crypto assets. Therefore, no legal protection or recourse was offered to users of, or investors in, crypto assets…”

Nothing has changed since the release of this paper.

@Myricals
Damn the parrotbook comes out swiftly hey? Per my previous post,the regulatory requirement is not on the crypto portion,SARS/FSCA doesn’t give a damn
But surprisingly people are depositing sheep/potatoes/rands/dollars/slaves,given an equivalent balance of another currency,which is then transferred to another party and used (theoretically) to gain value,which is then divided amongst the group of *ahem* investors and ultimately returned back to sheep/potatoes/rands/dollars/slaves. You,as with every other numpty parrotting the same poppycock nonsense,entirely disregard this because it suits you. But is far detached from reality
The business handles something of value for a collective(oddly you could call that a collective investment scheme),which falls under the FSCA purview

Let me summarize it in a method you might grasp
I buy cryptocurrency and hold it – nobody cares
I buy cryptocurrency,give it to somebody else – nobody still cares
I sell cryptocurrency and get paid in real life potatoes – SARS cares
I buy cryptocurrency,then transfer cryptocurrency to a business to make it grow – FSCA cares
I give cryptocurrency to a ponzi scheme because i’m a dumb tool – everyone cares except the tools who believe the world,Gaia and Trump are against them

Surprising how vehement a company is defended that declared income of less than a million but the top dogs spent collectively millions in less than a year. Somebody be lying

Now run along

NotAThief don’t get your nickers in a knot…if you disagree with the official statements from SARB, SARS, FIC & FSCA, take it out on them; not me…they are the ones causing the confusion.

Hilarious
Hilarious
Super hilarious
Don’t project some form of teenage angst in my direction when met with overwhelming evidence in an opposing view that happens to take your original statement into consideration,but clarifies the facts.While some may be confused because of repeated brainwashing attempts from their sponsors/uplines,coupled with the mysteries of cryptoooooooo.It’s all rehashed nonsense and noise to claim everything everywhere is super unregulated suddenly because “Crypto”
What’s next,I can’t be prosecuted for murder because I got paid in Crypto.Crypto makes every legality disappear obviously
Just gotta #believe

@Myricals. Re your comment about SARB, SARS, FIC, FSCA…pertaining to SARS alone, herewith the following from SARS website:

https://www.sars.gov.za/Media/MediaReleases/Pages/6-April-2018—SARS-stance-on-the-tax-treatment-of-cryptocurrencies-.aspx

(Yes, in your defense, it does mention “In South Africa, the word “currency” is not defined in the Income Tax Act (the Act). Cryptocurrencies are neither official South African tender nor widely used and accepted in South Africa as a medium of payment or exchange. As such, cryptocurrencies are not regarded by SARS as a currency for income tax purposes or Capital Gains Tax (CGT).”)

By you stopped short on reading the following:

“Instead, cryptocurrencies are regarded by SARS as assets of an intangible nature.”

“Whilst not constituting cash, cryptocurrencies can be valued to ascertain an amount received or accrued as envisaged in the definition of “gross income” in the Act.”

“Following normal income tax rules, income received or accrued from cryptocurrency transactions can be taxed on revenue account under “gross income”.

“Alternatively such gains may be regarded as capital in nature, as spelt out in the Eighth Schedule to the Act for taxation under the CGT paradigm.”

When something states “there is currently no legislation” to deal with this or that, is doesn’t mean it is let go.

One day, if ever, the whole world goes crypto (and FIAT currencies come to an end) how will the global tax authorities collect tax money? Or maybe all global citizens are told you are no longer liable for tax thanks to crypto…and pigs will fly.

Note to Cheri…. remember when I asked whether you’ve not learnt your lesson? Whether you wanted to go to jail? You then blocked me on FB and instructed Leonard your ex to harass me with legal threats via Whatsapp… your arrogance will be your downfall and you deserve every-bit of it coming your way. The FSCA are aware of your threats to sue to the Falcons when they investigated your deep involvement with BTC Global. You’re nothing but hot air…. a paper tiger…. a mouse (huge one) with a megaphone. Kry vir jou

And they use ‘an unregulated offshore broker’ to prevent their accounts being frozen! Rally?
Help, I’m surrounded by idiotic investors.
When investors lose everything, I’m going to have a good laugh.
1,5 %/day nogal. Really?
And you trust Marks of BTC fame (infamy)

They must go get Liz Malton in Durban – she is the kingpin of KZN MTI

@ScamItAll.

I dare you: try and get MTI regulated under the FSCA….I mean , as you say “it’s only trading with risk”. What is so complex for the FSCA?

(How about MTI simplifying everything, so that the FSCA has a better grasp of what MTI is offering. But no…it has complex structures, serving as smoke & mirrors.)

At all the MTI supporters…I hear you. FSCA interferining where it should not.

I CAN HELP. As a tax consultant I’m good at writing legal & technical motivations in SARS Disputes, for decades.

If you pay me a nice fee, I’ll write a strong motivation to the FSCA to further MTI’s case. It may read like this:

“Dear FSCA chief Investigation Officer,

On behalf of MTI and their chain-blocked members, please just leave this bloody pyramid scheme ALONE, OK?! Capish!
For Pete’s sake!!

Talking about Pete…
Kindly allow MTI to continue their philanthropic objectives in cyber space, by taking from Peter to pay Paul”

We await your favorable consideration”

@MichaelfromKlerksdorp, correct…from a SARS perspective, crypto is treated in the same manner as stocks…if you trade, it is treated as income, if you hold, it is a capital asset. It is imperative to declare all crypto trading & holdings in one’s tax returns.

That said, at this stage, crypto is not classified as a financial instrument and consequently, the FSCA has no business meddling in MTI affairs. If anything, SARS should be investigating whether or not MTI has declared there own trading profits and/or fees. Of course, each member has to declare their own.

For once the FSCA is doing what they are supposed to do, regulate financial schemes and protect the public. Carte Blanche and other whistle blowers have been reporting on corrupt schemes for decades, usually after thousands of people have lost millions, and usually people who can least afford to lose R1. Often they report dubious schemes currently in operation but the FSCA does nothing!

They are moving very slowly on MTI while millions more are being added to the potential losses every day. The FSCA must get their act together and approve it or shut it down – now!

Well done Ciaran – For once Moneyweb did publish a balance unbiased report of events – Begs the question why an objective view, is so hard to find these days? Simple question – If MTI want to be regulated and if MTI did approach FSCA in this regard to be Complaint, why the witch hunt against MTI – They have a sound business model – not one person of the more that 200,000 members have lost one dollar to date in more than 18 months, there binary marketing model are sound and are utilised in business models all over the world and how they trade is nothing untoward as BOT trading is been done by banks and financial institution all over the world? MTI do not promise any ROI and make it quite clear that they Trade in Forex & currently Crypto and do caurtion possible partisipants to the inherent risk thereof. Kudus for them if they do have a exceptional track record in trading that reflects on the high quality of their trading BOT,AI and sound business model. So if everybody wins – why does the FSCA not just give them a Trading licence and “Regulate” MTI as they wish to be. I might be wrong, but it seems to me as if Mr Brandon Topham have a political agenda. Media reports in IOL suggest that Mr Topham protect “White Capital” by not acting decicively against “BIG Capital Scams” like “Steinhoff” – but act draconic against a small company like MTI that has only deliver good to its members as to date – It certainly make the man in the street wonder what the real intention of the FSCA and Mr Topham is – Maybe there is some “Politics at Play” as IOL suggest – certainly looks that way …

Erm…

– MTI do not want to be FSCA compliant or regulated. Marks even quoted in article as saying they “do not fall within the ambit of the SA regulations that the FSCA says we do”.

– “not one person of the more that 200,000 members have lost one dollar to date in more than 18 months” – just wait what happens to returns when member numbers stagnate for 12 months

– “Media reports in IOL suggest that Mr Topham protect White Capital by not acting decicively against BIG Capital Scams like “Steinhoff” – the FSCA is not responsible for investigating Steinhoff – the JSE and SAPS would be

1) Your lack of understanding of all the dimensions of this story is reflected in your response – So my suggestion is to first empower yourself with knowledge – it usually helps.
2)You should sell your wisdom and foresight to investment houses – they will pay you to dollar – once again you lack of understanding transpire
3)After you went back and study the mandate of the FSCA – You are welcome to dress IOL on their published article

4) Consider applying your mind to something more constructive that you have actually mastered – then you will not make a fool of your self on a public forum by try to sound intellectual.

Best you keep to selling TV ads on the Ontbytsake TV show, did you manage to convince co presenter Dawie Roodt to sign up? Doubt it.

If you can’t play the ball – play the man – Well done Bobby Dollar – Kudus for you

“Playing the man” In this instance anyone pushing this sham of an investment are fair game, this nonsense is “sold” and promoted by people who know its total rubbish and yet they continue to do so. Sharemax2.0

EricVenter, it’s “kudos to you”. A kudu is an antelope, or are you intending to give the man some prime venison?

Back to the topic, what is your interest in MTI succeeding? Do you have a problem with them warning people about “investing” there? If yes, why? Is it because new capital to pay returns will vanish?

Eric,answer truthfully
Is there an Argument excel spreadsheet you are just copying counterclaims/arguments from that’s been handed down? Or are you parroting a Zoom session you sat through in case anybody with valid concerns had to ask

Because everytime valid points are raised the exact same nonsense comes forth from another person,and I find it very hard to believe that a % of 200 000 people would out of their own make these same nonsense statements,it defies probability by a significant margin

Might want to start applying some critical thoughts there

Hello Eric. The information here is not correct. When MTI started between April to June 2019 they made a massive loss for their members. Some people lost up to 60% of their funds. At that specific time Mr Johann Steynberg refused to close the trades that was in loss after letting it run for over a month.

So the fact that they are claiming that they only had 1 bad day is a complete lie being told to the investors. At that stage it was around 700 people who lost a massive lot of money.

@Eric. Out of mere interest, are you working as a salaried employee, or a self-employed person running his own business?

(based on your response, I’ll have an interesting answer)

Dawie Roodt moet jou een vet PK gee!

A fool and his money…

Etienne, why dont you tell us all you know about MTI to call the people fools?

“If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.”
– Warren Buffett.

Don’t know much about MTI, but over R4bn out of the pockets of the financial services industry is motivation enough to shut it down.

That’s roughly R40m p.a. in commissions for financial advisors/planners!

The financial establishment is not oblivious to the fact that blockchain technology & crypto is the beginning of their ultimate demise and they are executing whatever illicit methods possible to survive.

Myricals, you sound like a financial planner. You do not see people that want to do something with R20,000.00 it is below your status, a waste of your time. Do the maths yourself about 200,000 people placed R4 billion

Consider that some people have bigger amounts with MTI, some with millions. That bring the average placing down. I wonder why the people with the millions did not come and see you. Maybe you just did not have something good to offer. How much did you loose for your investors recently? I surely hope they stay with you.

Not a financial planner, but a crypto coach. We teach youngsters in droves with just pennies to their name (and of course wealthier people) to start building their own pension in a crypto portfolio & how to stake, save and pool their crypto to earn more crypto.

Their returns exceed 6000% over 4 years. We don’t touch their money or make money off of them; our own returns are good enough for us.

200k members…. of which 50% would be duplicate/multiple accounts and 20% stagnant/unfunded.

Why you talk about commission when you help people with pennies?

Because you assumed I was a Financial Planner and that is exactly what Financial Planners do…strip out every cent they can for themselves, even when they lose clients’ money.

These “Financial Planner” pariahs would love to have the “penny people” we coached as clients; every R1 000 they put into their private crypto pension 4 years ago is worth over R60 000 today.

What I don’t get is the fact that MTI claims they are not subject to SA Laws / Regulations. Well, they are located in SA and they will have, not only international clients (?) but also SA clients who invest with them. Surely, therefore, they should be open to scrutiny in SA? Also, if they have nothing to hide then why all the noise?

SPAP, what you don’t get… MTI voluntary went to the FSCA and showed them all. The FSCA conveniently do not believe them. WHY??? Because if the FSCA say they are good to go, then you will see money leave banks. The FSCA will never have something good to say, they will find a way to destroy any other institution that compete in their space. In the old days you had all these boards, the egg board, potato board and various others. They rather dumped eggs in the sea to protect the price. Regulate is a nasty word.

And you also had Dumbboard. A game I think with only one winner.

You’re a strong punter for these guys – interesting!?! You make it sound like a conspiracy aimed at an innocent investment company. Simple – let the courts decide.

Look at all the big ‘investment’ scheme companies over the years that have crashed because they were not ‘clean and innocent’ and then look at how many people lost their hard earned savings, with some being totally destroyed. At this stage of having an outside agency / group looking into their affairs they all screamed that they were on the level and even when they were hogtied they still continued to bleat about how squeaky clean they were.

I know squat about these folk – but there is a lot of sad history related to ‘investment companies’. If regulators are looking into their affairs and they are squawking then questions have to be asked. If they are on the level then let them continue to assist in proving it.

If by voluntary you mean only went AAAFTER being requested,and leaving the FSCA confused and worried with what they presented as unverified evidence,then proclaimed to their followers THE FSCA DROPPED THE CASE GUYS WE’RE GOOD,then get raided months later,then yes sure that’s the narrative you choose to believe. Meanwhile in the real world raids are serious business,and 3 courts agreed at best they need investigation,at worse…

Exactly SPAP.

And the notion that the “FSCA does not regulate crypto” / “crypto falls outside the ambit of the FSCA’s powers” hold little water.

Cryptocurrencies are being regarded as a legal currency (many people in the crypto sphere will second that). You can buy and sell in crypto like BTC.

So….crypto IS MONEY. The FSCA regulates financial advisory affairs….MTI can’t hide behind “crypto”…because the latter is legal and it is de facto money.

Furthermore, since MTI takes deposits from ‘investors’ (call it what you like, ‘traders’, members,..) I’m pretty certain the Banks Act is also contravened (previously known as the Deposit-taking Institution Act). It is irrelevant whether deposits are taken in ZAR or cryptocurrency. Fact is, deposits are taken.

Besides, most crypto boffins will advise you NOT TO GIVE AWAY CONTROL of your crypto-wallet to other people. And what is MTI doing…?

So MTI’s only defense against the FSCA investigation is that they: “do not fall within the ambit of the SA regulations that the FSCA says we do”.
Scary stuff for investors into MTI.

Crimson_Red We are not investors. We understand the risk. I kissed my money goodbye, but it came back like the cat. Other people buy Sasol shares and Spar shares and whatever. There is no law that protect them from loss. We trust a broker that trade with bitcoin, and we hope the price go up, and it does. Other people sit at home trading on their own, not everybody can do that. If you attend a MTI meeting they start with a disclaimer that this is a risk and you cannot base past successes on future profits. Shall we all repent and say sorry that we are prepared to take this risk? Why don”t they close the casinos down? Enjoy your FIAT currency and being controlled by the state that have to find more ways to get your money. We will pay our taxes fair from our gains. At least MTI create wealth and help some people. What can you suggest to help people?

Not investing in an obvious investment Ponzi perhaps? Might not enrich certain top 5% of MLM/pyramid/Ponzi people,but definitely will save the rest

@Investigateall. OK, MTI member are not regarded as ‘investors’ you say?

Accepted. MTI members must thus be “DONORS”? As in Peter donates to Paul.

Do you actually read what is been said or do you prefer to comment out of thin air…

Do you actually have an iota of sense between those ears or do you prefer to parrot your masters? Asking for a friend

I look at it this way. Red flags in the past concerning Ponzi schemes:

1) Extremely or unbelievebly high investment returns
2) Company or entity not registered with the FSB and currently FSCA
3) Ivestigations by the FSCA into the dealings of the company or entity
4) Stakeholders in the company or entity, has a wealthy and or extravagant lifestyle

If the above items can be ticked off, proceed wit extreme caution. I am not saying MTI is a ponzi scheme, but considering the above, it certainly is more likely. Due diligence is crucial.

You are right. I did my Due diligence and decided to take a risk with $500 and was prepared to loose it. So far it look good, I took my $500 out already. Should I run now?

Congrats Investigateall,you actually just took the cake for the most ridiculous argumenter of the day.An honour to say the least

Let’s get this straight,you smoked one cigarette,and now you’ve declared cigarettes are obviously safe.Sometimes you should just heed the warnings from those who know better rather than blithely disregarding a history of illegal behaviour,coupled with smoke and mirrors and claims that everyone is against them. You know who else did that? Zuma

@JPR. Add to your list “unnecessary & overtly complex structures”.

(In the days gone by, people selling snake-oil products threw impressive sounding pseudo-scientific terms into the product marketing mix.) If money was so easy be made, no-one would work, not even business owners….then everyone can just loan cheaply from the bank, and beat their interest rate. Life does not work like that.)

South Africans have been dom since the days of the Kubus scam and MTI is another example!
And in other news the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Father Christmas, and the MTI BOT appear live on Ontbytsake to prove to us all that they exist!

I love how much the phrase “I have done my due diligence” comes up. The guys at myBroadband have done this, and it is available for all to see on dishonest.co.za …. if you still think this is a good idea, there is little to no hope for you I am afraid.

how dare you
i did my dube dilibergencerences
i paid them R1 and i got R2 back #notaponzi#winninginlife#doublemymoney
what’s a ponzi btw

MTI could easily resolve this issue with the FSCA.
Just supply the FSCA with independantly Audited Annual Financial Statements by a reputable auditing firm that MTI should be already in posseion of, and those pesky haters in the FSCA would run away with their “Freedom Hating Commie” tails between their legs.

Come on MTI fans, now you cannot tell me “MTI doesn’t have to have audited Financial Annual Statements” because Bitcoin LOL.

By law, MTI was to have produced a set in July already.

So the ball lies in MTI’s court, comply with the Companies Act or be placed under scrutiny.

Very good point! I forgot about “supply us with Audited Fin Statements…”.

MTI? No ways….never! They’ll end up paying so much Provisional & Income Tax to SARS to balance Tito’s budget.

The Tax Act is clear: you need to declare your income “in cash or otherwise”. It includes crypto. Crypto is money.

Crypto affictionados will argue “hell no, we won’t pay tax. This was the idea from the start”. The moral question is “is this the type of people you want in a society?”

Quite right, the MTI guys keep saying they a “registered company” and quote their registration number, that may be the case and they have registered with the CIPC but to keep that registration and not be deregistered they have to get financials signed off and file annual tax returns. A Fish n Chips shop can also be a “registered company” so just to keep harping on the fact they “registered” isnt going to fly, being registered means certain legal responsibilitys in terms of the companys act, if MTI were clean it would be easy to prove: audited financials and tax returns, me thinks they have neither.

To all those who have bitcoin with MTI please open your eyes and look at the math.

MTI has your bitcoin and has pooled it with others. Let’s say that there is 19500 BTC in the members pool. As per MTI leadership and many videos online they have a bot which trades only 5% of the trading pool each day for “safety” and other reasons to generate somewhere around 1% income per day (as is evident day after day with the exception of a single day).

So let’s examine this a little closer.

If the bot generates 1% trading income for the entire pool that equates to 19500 BTC * 1% = 195 BTC income per day (which is then split accordingly as 40% to members, 20% binary … etc).

But the bot utilises only 5% of the trading pool in order to generate that profit. So from 975 BTC it generated 195 BTC which is actually 20% profit.

Let’s give MTI the benefit of the doubt and pessimistically state that the bot generates only half of this. If MTI traded 5% of the members pool (975 BTC) at 10% profit per day compounded for 4 months they would have 106 million BTC. The problem? That’s almost six times the BTC available in circulation.

Now you might be thinking irrationally that this is possible and somehow manage to generate 106 million BTC in 4 months. That would equate to US $1,401,691,000,000 which is FOUR TIMES not only every bitcoin in existence but also the issued market value of the next 499 cryptocurrencies combined too and at that stage you would have noone to trade with.

Just to add – Some MTI “leaders” may start spewing the usual script regarding leverage being used however the increase in transaction cost and required increase in margins and still coming out at 20% is unheard of and neither the crypto or forex markets are *that* volatile daily for months on end.

My advice, ask your leadership to transfer all members pool BTC into a single wallet address matching the pool balance and transfer a random amount (like 0.01 BTC) from that wallet to a charity of someone’s choosing to demonstrate control over said wallet. This can be done over the weekend while they are calculating members bonuses and cannot possibly be a security risk or problem. If the largest exchanges in the world do this, why can’t MTI? Or are they hiding something…

Are you implying that the most transparent most profitable most honest business ever (disregarding all the lies they’ve been caught in thusfar) would refuse to be honest and transparent to disprove allegations once and for all and rather fight social media and comment wars like gradeschoolers)
Damn..

Very reasonable comment 😉

Add to that, have read online comment (on international website) where a seasoned IT techie (who is also a crypto trader) noted about MTI’s bot: “…to find a trading bot that does this well, so consistently, is extremely hard to find…”

Too good to be true.

Straight out of an IT techie’s mouth. I’ll keep my one shut 😉

Cheri Marks, Johan Steynberg (and MTI’s top tiers) must’ve netted a R1billion (or two) based on calculations of those in the know how many BTC they have control over.

I don’t have an issue with MTI….if people want to risk it, please let them.

My gripe is….NO-ONE of the top tiers are paying any Income Tax to SARS for netting so much. Tax of R2bn may balance the SA budget! Pay your part please!

MTI will never do a counter suit in Court against the FSCA. Yes, they can easily afford it, but it will expose too much inner workings under expert cross examination.

And….once the Court is adjourned, Johan & Cheri would be personally met on the court’s stairs by an excited Edward Kieswetter (and team), with the words “Kindly follow us, we have more questions…”

As someone who holds a few thousand dollars invested across multiple crypto assests, mine and trade. I can attest to the FACT the 0.4% average is not hard to obtain as a daily average. I also question why LUNO and VALR exchanges are not under a spotlight first. They are the on and off ramp to converting your ZAR to BTC and vise vsa. Crypto is not clearly defined as per the RSA LAW, maybe should start there first and fix that. Only when you deposit your funds into ZAR are you required to pay tax that is done via the exchanges (LUNO/VALR) and falls under CGT. FYI while reading this article I have just closed a trade Shorting ETH and made 28% after fees. I suggest the haters and lovers of MTI agree on the rules first. The FSCA is worried about the 4B invested the amount from South Africa is questionable. Secondly if you don’t understand the risk of crypto GET OUT NOW. I have been active trading and in crypto for 6 years and made and lost money. The times I got greedy I got burnt. When I sought only modest gains I achieve steady profits. For those who want to try their hand open a account and have at it. Plenty Ads for trading yourself. If you want to understand where world economics is moving and why Bitcoin is disrupting FIAT do some research for a quick lesson youtube Robert Breedlove for a refresher. While you do that look into ivan on tech and see what opportunities to learn and maybe have a “blochchain” career in a few months , after four years of GOV fart arsing around looking into legislation they should actually define the LAW clearly so the rest of us know where we stand. Sensationalist articles such as the mybroadband haters forum crew who banned me for asking questions they didn’t like and I see a few of them here too. The effect of these articles do not dissuade people from putting their money into MTI quite the contrary the are the best marketing for attracting new members. Lastly how does ZAR become BTC start and fix that first. Moneyweb I hope you spend more time with relevant info and watch the crypto space closer. This is only the beginning of the discussion for those who are not sure about MTI you can leave immediately.

HIIIII CRYPTOSHILL,care to confirm which shill username you were?
Pretty sure nobody banned you,likely you sodded off faster than a drug dealer at a police raid when confronted with basic math.Don’t worry though all the members undue profits have been reported already.Just cross fingers you didn’t breach the “small fry” threshold for the bulldogs at the FSCA and SARS
god bless and much super success x20

Plenty of other ponzis to join over at that great Indian ponzi sweat shop, Maxtra Technologies who operate the scam for MTI.

@DarthVader. All fine then. Why don’t you OFFER YOUR HELP to another commentator “TheGreenArrow” (about 7th comment from the top) TO HELP HIM GET HIS Bitcoin OUT OF MTI?

The FSCA, especially Brandon Topham is desperate to stop MTI, but guess what Brandon? IT AIN’T GOING TO HAPPEN!! MTI IS GOING NOWHERE!! I AM A HAPPY MTI ACCOUNT HOLDER AND WILL NOT TAKE MY FUNDS OUT!! THE BANKS AND FSCA HAVE NIGHTMARES ON THEIR HANDS, AND WILL DO ANYTHING POSSIBLE TO STOP MTI….DREAM ON FSCA!! DREAM ON BRANDON TOPHAM!!!

Chill Duane, you wont have to take your funds out of MTI- The founders will so you pretty sorted

Nee man Boet. Those Indians at Maxtra technologies are gonna sink the ship and not the FSCA. Have you seen on their web site how many other scams they run?
MTI is nothing more another bite at the pie by an Indian pozi sweat shop.

@Duane. Nope….you’re NOT an “account holder” at MTI. You are a “donor” and a “recipient” at the same time.

You donate to your uplines, and your downlines donate to you.

This is all Vrotmelk in the crypto space *lol*

Johan & Sheri will be proud of you. Proceed as you were…

It would be interesting to know how many of those commenting here has actually joined MTI, even as observers just to inform themselves. It would be even more interesting to know how many of the claimed 200,000 members have ever laid a complaint of losing money through the actions of MTI.
I am a member of MTI, and was joined through a donation of $200 worth of bitcoin from an MTI member on 10 May 2020. I have since been living off the proceeds of MTI, and have even been able to make donations to others. I also tested the fact that it is claimed to be impossible to legitimately earn 8% per week trading bitcoin, and though I’m a complete novice, was able to better that on my own, manually buying and selling bitcoin. That said, it is a full time job, and the alternative of passive income while letting MTI do the trading is a very good option.
I believe that the MTI business model is sustainable, and if we who are members lose money through our membership of MTI, that is own own choice and not the problem of anybody else. Why do the FSCA waste taxpayer’s money investigating MTI, while they can investigate real criminal activities, as executed by the banks and traditional financial institutions in South Africa, as well as the wholesale theft by members of the government.

Drink more koolaid there,your observations are minor,and pure confirmation bias fallacies.You believe because you want to,and need to,because admitting that you could be stealing from others is incomprehensible since people are mostly good
Problem is – your leaders are not.They have a collective lifetime between them of MLMs,failed businesses,pyramid schemes and ponzi schemes a mile long.Every time they lauded it as the best thing ever,and every time it has failed spectacularly,or fizzled because the reality is all MLM/Ponzi/Pyramids you only win on the top and they were at the bottom,till recently

To your comment regarding having joined.Anybody that has put their funds into it,and withdrawn anything more than they put in are complicit in a fraud already,and have no more valid points to contribute as they – much like you – have shown no capability to reasonably interrogate the narratives fed to you.Instead relying on half truths,incorrect assumptions and falsified information
(And yes,there have been a few joiners purely to monitor the situation internally,they are not any less convinced as everything they are offered is publicly available too)

Johan, smell the coffee and word wakker. MTI is run by an Indian ponzi sweatshop named Maxstra Technologies. Do your due diligence!

You seem to have forgotten that MTI traded only Forex until fairly recently. Nice shill though.

So Investigateall, yesterday Cheri Marks said “It’s important to note that your full Bitcoin capital goes into trade”, while Johann has previously said that only 3-5% is being used for trading and the rest in in cold storage for it’s protection, so who is lying or wrong? Cant just be a case of simply misspeaking, as the two are vastly different..

Cheri wouldn’t know a Bitcoin if she sat on one.

…yeah, it becomes an “art” at the end of the day, to cover one’s lies, and lies by others, to ensure things gel.

The simple explanation of course is that deception and lies need spin and lies to cover.The facts are consistent,constant and verifiable.If you ask the same question of 3 people and you get 3 answers,don’t trust any of them

Not one comment from the other side.

Would it be wrong to estimate that if MTI has around 200 000 “traders” Hahaa that is on the right side of the trade there is 200 000 traders on the wrong side of the trade.

It means there is a growing number of traders loosing bitcoin and not a single one that mentions he is now continuously loosing bitcoin trades?? Remember there is someone continuously winning.

Is there a continuous supply of stupid traders that loose to them all the time??

Yaaa right.

…yup. But don’t lose sight of their impressive “trading bot”. The one that consistently beats the market, but they’re not willing to reveal to the tech world/coders, and not willing to sell to the world’s largest financial companies for trillions of USD.

No, instead they want to make you and me successful, from our OWN money.

It either smells like a fish, or it is Vrotmelk in cyber space *lol*

The MTI BOT is the peetkind of vrotmelk Kubus fame.

Bwahahahahahahahaha!

In my early days when I first started buying/selling shares a sage person told me “invest in what you know not what you think you know”. To all those who invested in MTI – you invested in what you know – if you have made decent returns – well done. To those investors who invested and now think it to be a Ponzi scheme then you invested in what you didn’t know – and that’s called school fees

Remember everyone,this is your Director of Communications. See if you recognize anything being said currently

Edited: below from https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-03-02-btc-global-is-a-load-of-crypto-crap/

A Johannesburg woman at the centre of what is alleged to be South Africa’s biggest cryptocurrency scam says she has been receiving death threats and has had to lay criminal charges against a man who threatened her at her home.
Cheri Ward has also obtained an interim protection order against a woman who claimed to have exposed the $50-million “scam” in which more than 27,500 people have invested money from as little as R16,000 to R1.4-million in a get-rich cryptocurrency scheme.
The Hawks on Thursday confirmed that the Serious Commercial Crimes Unit was investigating complaints against BTC Global, a company in which people from South Africa, America and Australia have invested cryptocurrency valued at over $50-million by transferring bitcoins into an online wallet address.The man behind the company was said to be forex and commodities trader “Steve Twain” and investors received inconsistent weekly payouts until Twain disappeared two weeks ago.
Investors are now wondering whether Twain really existed at all.
Twain’s administration team wrote on Facebook two weeks ago that they could not locate him, sparking outrage from investors.
“I have received a number of death threats, in addition to being defamed, harassed and intimidated on social media and online. My children have also been subjected to threats, as well as being defamed on social media,” Ward told Times Select.
Ward said she was referred to Twain by a business partner and she invested with BTC Global in 2017.
She said she was then approached to assist with the administration of members’ details.
“No monies or bitcoin was controlled by me or anyone else besides Steven Twain,” she said.
She said she hadn’t been questioned by police with regard to the company.
But Pretoria factory owner Carel Brits, who invested R1.4-million with BTC Global, is furious.
He received one commission payment of about R9,200 and one weekly payment of about R42,000 before Twain disappeared.
Charmain le Roux, who invested R80,000, is equally outraged.
“My son lost R1,600 and my friend lost R50,000,” she said.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha said more than 27, 500 people may have been duped out of about $50-million by investing with “master trader” Twain.
But Ward maintains that no one was scammed.“I repeat that no one was scammed. All the investors I have had contact with received weekly returns, as undertaken by Steven Twain from the outset,” she said.
“Every single person who invested in BTC Global did so of their own volition and subsequent to having conducted their own research into the fund. As is the case with any fund into which money is invested, there is no guarantee that an investor will be receiving any return on their investment.”
Antoon correct Botha confirmed that his firm, BMV Attorneys based in Bedfordview, had taken on clients involved with BTC Global.
“We are in the process of finalising our instruction or mandate to proceed against BTC and or its representatives, the nature and extent of which will be evident from our pleadings or papers.”
The firm was representing five clients but anticipated there would be others from “vast number of other affected parties who are situated over a wide geographical area”.
They were assisting potential claimants to organise themselves into an association with a steering committee and which would target “the ultimate fair distribution of funds recovered from those who had gained under the scheme”.
He said there was prima facie evidence to support charges of common law fraud and theft as well as transgressions of the Banks Act, among others.

NotAthieft it seems you the biggest puppet of the FCSA and the banks why you protecting the biggest thefts the banks I lost my job in Covid-19 And invested my money in the bank R133,000 with a R11 profits for each month for the last 3 months how I can live with a R11 a month why don’t you investigate the banks and investment companies.

Most seasoned commentators on MW are considered financially savvy to various degree (many are well past 50-age & have accumulated wisdom). No one here is a puppet….we can reason clearly for ourselves.

I’m willing to analyse your bank investment for you & tell you what is likely going on. BUT I WILL CHARGE YOU A FEE! 😉 AND IT WILL EXCEED R11.

People don’t fully understand financial products they get themselves into. And MTI’s structure is overtly and unnecessary complex for a reason (..personally, I think this MTI ponzi has been brilliantly thought out…impressive crooks. Proof is how they manage to net so many brainwashed ‘believers’)

Let me tell you, you’re going to lose more than R11 if you’re into MTI…

Please advice was there any members of MTI complaining at the FSCA if there was no one why the fuse or it seems people got personal agendas against MTI

For regulators to enforce regulations one need not complain.A R3billion hole when this folds as a ponzi scam is a big enough flare to alert the authorities
They are operating illegally,and now they are being investigated properly since they didn’t provide sufficient information when asked nicely
Strange how that works
The only personal agendas are employees and their puppets who don’t like being told no and throw legal threats around like confetti

For any even semi financial literate person the name of Cheri Ward should let alarm bells ring. To invest in anything that is connected in any manner to this person is playing financial Russian roulette.

End of comments.

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