MTI Announces It Is Working With The FSCA – Statement From CEO
Kratika Agrawal – July 14, 2020 (Global Crypto) Global Crypto has received information that the increasingly popular MTI (Mirror Trading International) trading company have released a statement to their members about their planned compliance. Global Crypto has also received direct correspondence from MTI’s CEO Johann Steynberg, which we have published at the end of this article.
MTI have circulated a statement on their trading dashboard responding to stories such as ours reported on South African News24, CoinTelegraph, and CoinDesk.
The statement reads that due to MTI’s “robust referral-based business, it is being perceived by ‘associative conclusion’ to be a ponzi scheme like many others in the MLM and passive-income industry”.
Allegedly penned by CEO Johann Steynberg, the statement claims that the company aims to change the negative perception of the industry “once and for all” by proving to regulators that their business is legitimate and bona fide. The release, received anonymously by Global Crypto, continues by saying that MTI are already in discussion with South Africa’s FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority).
CEO Steynberg also claims that Mirror Trading International will be engaging with the “US Texas Securities Commission“. (The official name of the regulator that issued a cease-and-desist order against MTI was the “Texas State Securities Board“).
Global Crypto have reached out to the FSCA and the TSSB for confirmation of these claims, to which we are yet to receive a response.
In what appears to be an attempt to suppress negativity among investors, the statement also “importantly” requests that “all members anywhere in the world should not circulate” news articles relating to investigations aimed at MTI. This claim aligns with MTI’s terms and conditions, specifically clause 8, whereby members can have their membership terminated for perpetuating such news:
Clauses 8.2 – 8.4 of MTI’s terms and conditions, as found on the company’s website (MyMTIclub.com), reads as follows (sic):
Should any member become aware of or receive any form of regulatory or policy or legal communication in any communication medium, the information should be forwarded directly to the CEO of MTI care of MTI support and clearly marked for the personal attention of the CEO.
Should clause 8.2 above occur, no member should circulate or send such information or communications in their possession to any other members other than to the MTI CEO, as required by clause 8.2.
Transgression of this term and condition of MTI membership can result in MTI cancelling a members membership, after which MTI would zero the members MTI account and send the members Bitcoin to the member.
The statement concludes with the CEO emphasising his determination to “see this through together with MTI’s professional advisors”.
Global Crypto reached out to MTI on Thursday 9 July, and this afternoon received a response direct from the CEO. The response is very similar to the publicly issued statement, and reads as follows [sic]:
I unfortunately only received your email this morning, Tuesday 14 July 2020.
As I have declared to the Texas Commissioner in writing, I wish to state and declare from the outset that Mirror Trading International (Pty) Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “MTI”), a privately held company registered in the Republic of South Africa, is not a Ponzi scheme (new money feeding old) or a scam, with which a holder of funds suddenly disappears.
It is also most unfortunate that because MTI is operating in the online passive income building industry, which has a notorious and demonstrated reputation for scams and Ponzi schemes, and, due to the nature and Modus-Operandi of the robust MTI referral-based business model, that MTI is automatically by default behaviour of the media and some regulators, and maybe the behaviours of some members, is being perceived by associative conclusion that MTI is but another of these.
This unfortunate and misinformed perception is far from the reality of what MTI is as a newly formed (15 month old) highly innovative referral-business and brand that the founders would like to see growing over many years into a global, iconic and heritage brand in the market trading sector.
For instance, the Texas Commissions states that …The actual value of the commissions depends on their success in recruiting new investors and multilevel marketers. … While this may apply to Ponzi schemes, this is not correct for MTI.
Daily trading returns using top regulated trading brokers determine the quantum of rewards, which can vary and if there is a negative trading day, there are no rewards. The point is that with MTI, that the funding of MTI referral payments is derived from daily trading profits and not from the funds of new members.
Another important point which differentiates MTI from Ponzi’s and scams is that members have full control over their funds (Bitcoin) at all times. Members are able to add or withdraw their funds (Bitcoin) at any time, with no complications and no fees. If you do research, you will find not a single member of the 75,000+ MTI members worldwide has ever complained or not been able to withdraw their BTC whenever they have opted to.
It is the aim of MTI and its innovative, unique referral-based business model and MTI’s operating Modus Operandi of trading on world markets to generate real growth and returns on a daily basis, to work with and co-operate with regulators in every regard, in the process of taking MTI along a path that will see MTI fully and properly regulated.
There are three reasons for this:
1. My Founding Vision for MTI: Build a preferred iconic and heritage global brand in the financial services sector that delivers sustainable growth and value creation for all stakeholders, including for the little man in the street.
2. Professional and Compliant: Ensure that MTI is a professionally managed business and brand that is regulatory compliant and which delivers sustainable growth and value creation for all stakeholders. My team and I are committed to this.
3. Change the reputation of the on-line passive income generating industry: We and myself personally, are extremely tired of this industry having a negative and darkly clouded reputation. And yes, some 99.9% of online passive income building services are scams and / or Ponzi’s. I am personally very driven to be part of changing this perception once and for all, by showing and demonstrating to regulators, to the media and to consumers that such a business model can on a Bona Fida basis, exist, successfully operate and grow on an organic and sustainable basis, which is what MTI is doing.
To this end, MTI will in the coming period be placing great emphasis on engaging with and working with any regulator with a clear purpose at all times; be fully compliant as a professionally managed company and brand that delivers sustainable growth and value creation to its stakeholders, and which intends to be around for many years to come.
MTI is already in discussion with the South Africa Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) and will be meeting with the FSCA in a week’s time. MTI is also fully committed to co-operating with the Texas State Securities board and is in correspondence with them on this matter.
We trust that the above gives you some insight into MTI.
Should you wish to correspond further, please use my private email address: [REDACTED]
Chief Executive Officer
Mirror Trading International (Pty) Ltd
The full statement being circulated to MTI members, received anonymously, reads as follows [sic]:
MTI CEO ANNOUNCEMENT
SOUTH AFRICAN REGULATOR FSCA, THE US TEXAS SECURITIES COMMISSION AND SOUTH AFRICAN NEWS PUBLICATION NEWS 24 BRING FOCUS ONTO MIRROR TRADING INTERNATIONAL (PTY) LTD (MTI) REFERING TO MTI AS A “STELLENBOSH-HEADQUARTERED COMPANY FINGERED AS A “GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME”
Not unexpectedly and because MTI is operating in the online passive income building industry which has a notorious and demonstrated reputation for scams and Ponzi schemes and, due to the nature and Modus-Operandi of the robust MTI referral-based business model, MTI is automatically by default behaviour of the media and some regulators, being perceived by associative conclusion that MTI is but another of these.
This unfortunate and misinformed perception is far from the reality of what MTI is as a newly formed (15 month old) highly innovative business and brand that the founders would like to see growing over many years into a global, iconic and heritage brand in the market trading sector.
Changing this perception once and for all, by showing and demonstrating to regulators and the media that such a business model can on a Bona Fida basis exist and successfully operate and grow on an organic basis in this notorious sector is not only possible, but is being done by MTI.
To this end, MTI will in the coming period be placing great emphasis on engaging with and working with any regulator with a clear purpose at all times; to be fully compliant as a professionally managed company and brand that delivers sustainable growth and value creation to its stakeholders, and which intends to be around for many years to come.
MTI is already in discussion with the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) with regards to a meeting in Pretoria in the next two weeks and MTI will be engaging with the US Texas Securities Commission in this regard.
CEO Request to Members
To assist this important process, CEO Johann Steynberg requests that any MTI member anywhere in the world receiving any regulatory or similar information of any kind, should not circulate this in member groups, which creates confusion and uncertainty, but rather, send such information directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, who have a protocol in place for handling this. This is also a requirement of Clause 8 of the MTI terms and conditions of membership, for which contravention of can result in termination of a member’s membership.
MTI CEO Johann Steynberg concludes: ”The time has come, to for once and for all, address and reframe the reputational perception issues of regulators, the media and potential members about this industry, through MTI demonstrating that a genuine Bona Fida business and brand using an innovative business model of integrity can exist and grow sustainably in this sector. I am personally very determined to see this through and together with and supported by MTI’s professional advisors, this process is now underway.
MTI conforms to any and all regulatory requirements and is fully transparent and to be in compliance with regulatory agencies
Mirror Trading International (PTY) LTD
43 Plein Street
Unit 1, Ground Floor
10 July 2020
Dear MTI members,
It has been brought to my attention that articles referring to the Texas Securities Regulator are being circulated to MTI members by MTI members.
We can confirm we did receive a letter from the Texas Securities Regulator on Wednesday 8 June 2020, and our team is in the process of responding. We have every intention of working with them to resolve this issue.
We have had a great week and at MTI it is business as usual.
This is a Regulatory and Policy issue as per clause 8 of the Mirror Trading International (Pty) Ltd Terms & Conditions, which requires that any member receiving such regulatory or policy related information should send this directly to the CEO of MTI via support desk, and should not circulate such information amongst members , which further complicates matters.
Contravention of clause 8 can result in the termination of a members account.
Chief Executive Officer
Mirror Trading International (Pty) Ltd
Texas authorities crackdown on MLM Bitcoin scheme includes MTI allegation
Shaurya Malwa • July 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm UTC (CryptoSlate) Texas commissioners cracked down on an alleged Bitcoin scheme spread over 170 countries and 76,000 members.
The now-busted entity promised 20 percent profits each month on an upfront Bitcoin payment, working as a pyramid scheme to pay out “top-levels” with new joinees.
The pyramid is falling
The Texas State Security Board (TSSB) busted a multi-level marketing scheme this week that promised Bitcoin profits to gullible members.
Documents obtained by CryptoSlate show Cornelius Johannes “Johan” Steynberg recruited members under the guise of investment activity focused on Bitcoin and forex trading.
Called “Mirror Trading,” the entity was an elaborate pyramid scheme based in South Africa with “investors” all across the globe.
Steynberg claimed to use a proprietary AI-bot to make quick profits in Bitcoin and forex markets. Salesmen were asked to pool investor funds to increase the total assets under management while getting a chunk of money per new “investor.”
In turn, these new joinees were asked to operate as salesmen, which kept the scheme spinning.
Mirror Trading offered four commission programs for salesmen, recruiting unregistered securities “experts” to sell services to mom-and-pop types. Commissions were dynamic and depended on their success in recruiting new investors and multilevel marketers.
Since March 2020 alone, the scheme took in 22,000 members. This could be attributed to rising economic fears and the allure of easy money.
These quick-to-profits schemes rely on a little bit of smoke and the shine of mirrors. Investors were often promised safe, lucrative returns(…),” said commissioner Travis Illes in a statement.
Four main multilevel marketers were named the order; ForexAndBitcoin.com, Michael Cullison, Steve Herceg, and Brian Knott. TSSB accused them of illegally soliciting Texans by violating the state law that requires the registration of securities and sellers of securities.
According to the order, Cullison was a debtor in four bankruptcy cases and Knott twice filed for bankruptcy. Herceg also allegedly filed for bankruptcy protection.
Joe Rotunda, the TSSB’s director of enforcement, said “This may just be the tip of the iceberg.” He added:
Fraudulent multilevel marketing get-rich-quick schemes gain momentum and spread like wildfire through the internet. We brought this action to quickly stop the illegal scheme before it irreparably harms Texans.”
The release said investors can report questionable or suspected fraudulent securities schemes in Texas directly by emailing email@example.com.
The Texas crackdown was the second Bitcoin pyramid scheme to comes in the authorities’ radar recently. In June, the Philippines SEC warned investors against Ethereum dApp Forsage, calling it a sureshot pyramid model.