DOJ stays SEC’s Forsage securities fraud civil case
The DOJ has stayed SEC civil proceedings against Forsage executives and promoters.
The March 28th order staying SEC proceedings was preceded by a DOJ intervention filing on March 24th.
In the filing, the DOJ reasons;
In addition to the overlapping defendants in both the SEC’s case and the criminal case, both the SEC’s complaint and the criminal indictment involve overlapping facts and law.
Both the civil complaint and indictment also allege that the Founders structured and used the Forsage investment platform to operate a Ponzi and pyramid scheme that benefited themselves.
The United States now seeks to intervene in this civil proceeding in order to seek a stay of discovery pending resolution of the criminal case.
In addition to Okhotnikov (right), Olena Oblamska (aka Lola Ferrari, “the goddess of Forsage”), Mikhail Sergeev (Development Director) and Sergey Maslakov (top Russian promoter) were also indicted.
Okhotnikov’s last known location is Georgia (the country). Sergeev and Maslakov are believed to reside in Russia. Oblamska’s last known location was Bali, Indonesia.
It’s presumed the SEC’s case will remain stayed pending the arrest of all four Forsage fugitives. Given two are confirmed to be in Russia, if they’re not apprehended elsewhere this could theoretically be for an indefinite period of time.
I suspect the SEC’s case might resume if only Okhotnikov is apprehended. Okhotnikov still maintains a public profile through MetaForce, the sixth incarnation of Forsage.
After initially collapsing, MetaForce has been relaunched as an NFT metaverse grift.
Yesterday MetaForce uploaded a “Uniteverse and & Forcecoin presentation” to its YouTube channel.
The presentation features a theatrical introduction which, amusingly but also somewhat disturbingly, portrays Okhotnikov as a messiah-like figure.
The description of the YouTube video credits Bachana Chanturia with putting together the production’s music and dance ensemble.
Chanturia appears to be a well-known Georgian dance instructor.
Whether the US has reached out to Georgian authorities yet remains unclear. As of February 2023, an extradition treaty between the US and Georgia is still being negotiated.
For their part, Georgian authorities haven’t publicly taken any action against Okhotnikov.
Although US-based traffic to Meta Force’s website almost doubled in February 2023, the US still only accounts for 7% of total MetaForce website traffic.
MetaForce is primarily active in Cameroon (32%), Ukraine (28%) and Russia (11%).
The Central Bank of Russia issued a MetaForce pyramid fraud warning in August 2022.