5-star-signals-logoI recently reviewed 5 Star Signals and in conducting my own due diligence into the scheme, identified potential Ponzi fraud and unregistered securities issues.

For $497 a month, 5 Star Signals will provide you with access to

The first rule about the gold forum is, you do not talk about the gold forum.

With a mixture of it being hard to explain and also not wanting to disclose too much we will not give any details about what goes on in the gold forum.

I’m not kidding, that’s an official corporate product description from a member of 5 Star Signals management. This on top of a compensation plan that was likely affiliate-heavy and functioning as a pyramid scheme.

Rushing to the defense of 5 Star Signals within hours of the BehindMLM review, was Craig Walters.

Walters credits himself as the “Fund Manager” of 5 Star Signals Ltd. He appears to oversee funds 5 Star Signals affiliates invest through the company.

With potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions at play, that’s an awful lot of responsibility.

So who exactly is Craig Walters?

Our story begins by backtracking to the origins of 5 Star Signals. Back then Walters wasn’t as prominent, with a Marie Shaw instead managing 5 Star Signals funds.

Shaw, one of the co-founders of 5 Star Signals, initially traded with invested affiliate funds and nearly lost it all a number of times.

What followed these heavy trading losses was an observable series of repeated events.

Shaw would claim to be sick and in hospital, which was communicated through “Rosa”, an unidentified third-party.

Walters would then surface a few days later and defend Shaw and her actions.

The explanation provided for Shaw’s condition was that she was in

a car wreck and broke her jaw, rendering her unable to speak through anything other than text.

So it was only natural that she be “in the hospital” in Palma de Mallorca, Spain every time she screwed up.

After the fourth trading loss and Shaw disappearing off to hospital, 5 Star Signals’ CEO Mariska Langenberg began to get suspicious.

An investigation into Shaw’s communications revealed she was communicating through an IP address in Scotland. This clashed with the claim Shaw was based out of Spain.

Two other prominent 5 Star Signals insiders were known to be based out of Scotland, Craig Walters and a gentleman known as Dean Black.

In investigating possible links between Marie Shaw, Craig Walters and Dean Black, a “Marie Black” was uncovered.

Marie Black was based out of Scotland and had filed for bankruptcy a while back. She had a son, Dean P. Black.

This triggered a conversation Emily Mendez, 5 Star Signals’ former Head of Marketing, had with someone about Black.

This individual claimed to have had an account managed by a Scottish Dean Black,

who lost all of his investments in the very way that Marie Shaw had been blowing the 5 Star Signals investments.

At this point suspicions were running pretty high. There wasn’t enough to draw a conclusive conclusion, but it was pretty obvious all was not what it seemed.

Taking the information she’d gathered, Mariska Langenberg confronted Marie Shaw.

That prompted Dean Black to confess he’d made the Marie Shaw and Craig Walters identities up.

Purportedly Black was

trying to make money with 5SS to cover for a massive amount of debt he had gotten himself into gambling, and using his mother’s identity to take out loans.

dean-black-confession-marie-shaw-craig-walters-5-star-signalsWhat now follows is a transcript of a subsequent conversation between Mariska Langenberg (right) and Dean Black, dated March 21st, 2015.

Dean Black: I’m sorry girls, I really did only want the best for you.

I wanted to tell you (but it’s) kinda hard to drop into conversation.

I didn’t know how to not end up hurting everyone and it just got harder each day.

I know it will be hard to believe but I really do care about you, if I didn’t I would have just vanished and started up again a long time ago.

It would have been far easier for me. Things ot so complicated and I didn’t know what to do.

I understand you will be concerned (that) I will act in a way to harm 5SS both in ways you will have thought of and more subtle ways you may not have thought of, but you don’t have to worry about that.

I have made a lot of mistakes but I’ve never acted out of malice, I’ve never wanted to hurt you or 5SS.

I have acted to protect 5SS in many ways. If you look back you will see I have always tried to make sure this would not be discovered and blow up in your face.

I have also always left you in control of 5SS revenue, it has never been my intention to hurt or scam you.

If it had been I could have walked away with a lot of money a long time ago, leaving a train wreck behind me.

I really don’t know how it got like this. I somehow ended up being so many things to so many people and people were always coming to me asking for advice and help, and so often I would know what to tell them.

People began to rely on my and I didn’t know how to finish it without hurting (them).

This was long before 5SS. People who were scammed in Zeek, scammed in forex, fucked over in the next thing, they would come to me and tell me their stories and tell me about the impact on their families and expect me to know what they should do.

“Zeek” refers to Zeek Rewards, an $850 million dollar Ponzi scheme busted by the SEC in 2012.

Whether or not Dean Black was an investor in Zeek Rewards is unclear. His casual mention of it though suggests Mendez and Langenberg were at least familiar with the scheme, if not investors themselves.

I felt like I could not just walk away from them and things just went and got very complicated.

Made aware of Black’s deception, Mariska Langenberg had a choice to make.

In the interest of maintaining whatever legitimacy was left within 5 Star Signals, the ethical thing to do would have been to sever ties with Black and come clean with the 5 Star Signals affiliate-base about what had happened.

Instead, this is how Langenberg responded to Black’s confession:

As least you admit it, that is something.

So, to get you back on track then as well, have Rosa send us the sad message about Marie’s passing.

Turns out Rosa, the individual who would communicate on behalf of Marie Shaw when she was purportedly in hospital, was yet another of Dean Black’s creations.

Then remove your profile entirely and never, ever show up on social media as Marie Shaw again.

No need to make another profile to get in as the next trader either, because every next trader who isn’t under contract with one of our brokers will have to present a copy of ID and a MyFXBook link to proof track record.

We feel bretrayed and used… trust is gone as too much was simply too convenient to leave us and me in particular (to) handle the members who had lost substantial amounts.

Turns out Craig Walter’s faith in MyFXBook is the twisted manifestation of the absolution Langenberg granted him.

If Langenberg implemented its use to put a stop to his fraud, surely that means nobody can commit fraud through it, right?

Langenberg: Have Marie disappear forever Dean and we will leave you in peace.


Black: I never meant to use you Mariska. I only ever meant to help.

I fucked up but I had good intentions. All my contacts, clients and resources I put together under your control.

I’d not have done that if I was trying to use you.


Langenberg: I’m willing to believe that… but finding out that Marie Shaw is an imaginary person, when thinking it had been a real friendship for several years did hurt badly.


Black: I’m so sorry Mariska.


Langenberg: Being dishonest will always blow up in your face, always… it’s the law of karma.


Black: You really became a great friend to me. I didn’t know how to stop it. I didn’t want to hurt anyone.

As the conversation continued, an obviously hurt Langenberg laid out the tragic life of Dean Black;

Langenberg: Coming clean with us, the 2 people who have supported you for so long, would have been the only way.

The entire story about Mallorca, the car accident, even ‘Craig’ who only showed up when you disappeared, a phone number given that turned out to be a phony one, IPs that were not in Mallorca, not taken ownership of blowing the PAMMs several times…

It kept getting from bad to worse, so much, that there couldn’t be coincidence anymore to your sudden disappearances.

You know you and I spoke on Skype a few years ago, perhaps you don’t since you were very much drunk.

Now I know why Craig’s voice sounded so familiar… all made up characters… Marie, Craig, not being real people… but one individual living a life of make belief.

I really feel sorry for you, your life must be terribly lonely.

Why have a Marie Shaw profile, why not simply (be) Dean Black?

Unless other people are after Dean for losing money?


Black: It wasn’t that, it started small.

I had set up a few profiles to run an app like HootSuite. Somehow I ended up being important to some people and I didn’t know what to do.

I thought over time they would just kinda fade away from me but they never (did), and there ended up being more people and more people.


Langenberg: There would have been ways out of it, by simply closing down the profile.

Why not have a profile as yourself, as Dean Black?

You do understand Marie Shaw will HAVE to disappear now, (don’t) you?


Black: I really wish I had met the first people under my own profile but I never and I really felt like they needed me.

I didn’t feel like I could just abandon them.

I thought I could do what I could to help them and they would be on their way, but it all just duplicated.


Langenberg: You had no issue with abandoning Emily and me when things went wrong, avoiding responsibility and leaving me to handle that… several times.

Then after I had dealt with it, the reappearance of Marie was always there.

Even you showing up yesterday, I predicted that on Friday.

You have been preaching about being honest, about exposing scammers on an ongoing basis on Marie’s timeline… how could you, while being completely now who you have everyone to believe you were?

How could you still sleep?


Black: I’ve never scammed anyone.

I’m messed up but I’ve never scammed anyone.


Langenberg: You have been dishonest about who you were right from the start.


Black: If I was a scammer I’d never got into this mess.


Langenberg: You knew, I told you, I would never again work with men as business partners… from that perspective all of this had to come out.

It has grown out of your control, that happened.

Lies tend to do that, always… when telling lies it becomes hard to stay consistent.

And we may have been fooled for a long time, we are not stupid nor ignorant… and I do know how to do research.

Your profile had shown online several days ago already, on Facebook… we had seen that.

Why bring in another made up individual like Craig?

What is the real reason for never showing your own MyFXBook link of any of your accounts, even those from the past?

Be honest this time!


Black: I brought in Craig so if I left I could still help with inputs on the trading for you.

But there was no way to leave, I didn’t want to just die. I knew it would be heartbreaking.


Langenberg: You have no choice.


Black: I knew it would have to end of course but…


Langenberg: You cannot continue this lie!


Black: It’s like the chains were too light to be felt until too heavy to be broken.

I don’t want to continue the lies. It has been you two I was most worried about to be honest.


Langenberg: Marie will have to leave in such a way it can be accepted by the outside world and can be overcome by 5SS.


Black: There are a lot of people who I care about but you two are the only ones that ever helped me asking for nothing in return.

I know you must hate me but I tried to give you all I could in return.


Langenberg: Because we sincerely cared for Marie!

I cannot hate anyone, I do hate being mislead for so long. I honestly feel sorry for you, being trapped in your own lies.

Universal laws show again, there is only one way, the way of honesty.

I did feel sick when Rosa’s message came and we knew it was a made up story… then all these kind messages from members, that made me feel sick to my stomach.

It was again avoiding to take responsibility.

Had you been drinking that Tuesday?


Black: No, I rarely drink.


Langenberg: We know what alcohol can do… and three people have spoken with Dean on Skype before, everytime completely drunk.

That makes me wonder.

As the reality of the situation dawned on Langenberg, the conversation then focused on the impact of Black’s deception on 5 Star Signals.

Langenberg: Never once have you shown ownership of blowing those accounts to members.

When I had st up a webinar with Craig to talk with PAMM members, you left me handling that alone as well… how do you think that felt?

Was (it) true of losing over half a million?

I question that now too.

I question everything you told us… since there never has been a MyFXBook link, ever.

I keep thinking now, if you’ve lost capital, that must have been by blowing up an account as well.


Black: I did have money.

My big cousin got himself into he wrong kinda debt with the wrong kinda people. It brought our family a lot of problems.


Langenberg: Is that what has cost your mom going bankrupt as well?


Black: It ruined everything.

And it was on this note, that Langenberg delivered Black an ultimatum.

Langenberg: Marie Shaw needs to disappear. No way this company will be related to non-existing folks.

To have proper damage control, death is the gracious way out.

It’s either that option or being exposed… and I don’t know how many people are looking for you who have invested in the past, Like Yannick.

I’ve already taken action to have professional traders stand by to take over PAMM as soon as I’ll give the word.


Black: I really only did want to help. As much as you would allow me to I taught you everything I know.

I wanted to help make something that would set you up for life.

All I wanted from it was to be able to protect my family.


Langenberg: Protect them by passing and leave this life as Marie.

There are two press releases being prepared.

One about the very sad message, the other one about a scammer and the integrity of this company.


Black: I wish it was that simple to protect every here. I never scammed people.


Langenberg: Yannick? Our PAMM members?

How can you protect your family by being Marie Shaw?


Black: I fucked up but I never set out to scam anyone.


Langenberg: You fucked up a few times too many.


Black: Yeah.


Langenberg: And never took ownership of it.

I’m gonna ask again and do want an answer:

Why no MyFXBook link… in 9 months even $200 would have built up quite nicely.


Black: And money I’ve taken has went to the debt.


Langenberg: That debt is about 50k left?


Black: It’s a street debt, it compounds.


Langenberg: I figured that, as that amount has been mentioned several times.

But, it’s up to you what press release we will use.


Black: I will do whatever you think is best for everyone – this is obviously an issue I’ve had problems dealing with.


Langenberg: Then agree with the passing, disappear as Marie Shaw… profile gone, never back online either.

If you’d want to, you can open another profile and stay in touch with me… I do feel sorry for you, I really do.

Give me the chance to get to know Dean, but under these circumstances you can not have a leading roll in this company.

That other profile by the way, should be really low profile.

Time to come clean, the moment of trust.

There is no way out of dishonesty by remaining dishonest, by living a lie… acting out of fear will not solve anything either.


Black: I think having both profiles going offline at the same time would lead to harmful speculation and rumour.

If you’d like to do it that way then we can but I don’t think it’s best.

I think staying out the way and letting some time pass is best. Whatever you think is best.

Over the last while I really just thought how to tell ou two. Now you know it’s quite a relief really.

My life’s fucked, I really did put everything into 5SS but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Along with other things, the stress of this has made me feel really old.

While the finer details of Marie Shaw’s demise were being plotted, Mariska Langenberg floated potential plans of action with her fellow 5 Star Signals insiders:

The fact that he can use an IP blocker for acting as Craig is just the tipping point.

He has been commenting on Bitrx… and posted the PAMM results since ‘he’ stepped in… show off.

Let’s ignore the loss of 99% and hide that. Let’s have everyone believe that PAMM is doing really well!

One “whisper campaign” press-release concept floated by the group read as follows:

Man… we have had our fair share of scams. People are ridiculous.

We have been dealing with people who try to take advantage of us. We do not stand for such lack of integrity.

We regret to say that one of our own has chosen to scam our people.

Marie Shaw is actually known as Dean Black.

After 3+ years of friendship with this person pretending to be a trader, (he) has taught us much about trading.

Yet when money is concerned, chooses to take it and run with it.

Group chat transcripts between Mariska Langenberg meanwhile detail further specifics as to the plotting of Marie Shaw’s staged demise:

It makes sense to jut get rid of his Marie personality. She’s already sickly.

Slowly killing off Marie Shaw.

She’s got Rosa.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Marie, sadly enough, will pass this time.

Rosa will tell us. Then Rosa will disappear because she’s so “dumb”. And incapable of sitting down and writing in English anyway.

I don’t think Dean knows fluent Spanish anyway lol, everytime I got a response it was mild Spanish and Broken English.

Craig is an easier, more believable character.

Lives in the same area as Dean, can speak to us over Skype and whatnot… because he’s a guy and not a girl.

marie-shaw-death-notice-fraud-5-star-signalsOn the 24th of March 2015, three days after Black’s confession, 5 Star Signals issued the following press-release:

In Loving Memory Of Marie Shaw

It is with great sadness that we must inform you, our dear and highly appreciated members, about the sad news we received on March 22nd, 2015.

Marie Shaw, at the age of only 28, has passed away during surgery due to complications after a head injury.

We lose a co-founder, a brilliant trader, a mentor, a loving and caring friend with a unique sense of humor.

Marie, Emily and myself started 5 Star Signals last year, after having discussed it for a very long time.

The vision and our mission were mutual and very clear, and by now this company is set to be a life changing movement, providing wealth-creating solutions for everyone.

We know Marie would want us to proceed as planned and so we will.

Back up for continuation had already been taken care of and our members will be informed through a special newsletter.

Last farewells will be a private family ceremony. We are wishing family, friends and her caregivers the strength to carry this loss and some comfort from the many warm memories of her.

Marie, we are ever so grateful to have had the joy of knowing you, the privilege to work with you, and the honor to be part of this great company. We will miss you, but never forget you!

Rest in peace my friend, in our hearts forever. X

On behalf of the entire 5SS Corporate Team,
Emily Mendez & Mariska van de Langenberg

Emily Mendez departed 5 Star Signals shortly after Shaw’s “death”, purportedly due to ‘ethical and moral differences from the company partners‘.

Dean Black meanwhile appears to have reached an agreement with Langenberg, and today continues to maintain the Craig Walters persona.

At the time of publication, a Facebook profile set up in Walters’ name lists 697 friends and is updated by Black daily.

As evidenced by Walters’ comments on our 5 Star Signals review, Black also patrols the internet and continues to publicly represent 5 Star Signals using his made-up persona.

And so there you have it. On top of the unregistered securities issues and recruitment issues inherent with their business model, 5 Star Signals is a company founded on fraud, which continues to this day.


Update 21st October 2015 – Emily Mendez has been contact with the following clarifications:

I was never involved with Zeek rewards, only familiar with the scheme because of its demise. I had in no way ever been involved with Zeek.

I would also like to personally verify that I did leave the 5 Star Signals company due to major ethical differences and how it was being managed.