Mirror Trading International securities fraud C&D in Texas
Mirror Trading International has received an emergency securities fraud cease and desist from Texas.
The cease and desist order applies to Mirror Trading International PTY LTD and owner Cornelius Johannes “Johann” Steynberg (right).
US MTI promoters Michael Aaron Cullison (Nevada), Steve Herceg (California) and Brian D. Knott (Nevada) are also respondents to the order.
The Texas State Securities Board identifies MTI as an “international multilevel marketing scheme tied to investments in a cryptocurrency forex trading pool”.
The cryptocurrency and forex trading pool are “securities” as that term is defined in … the Securities Act.
Neither Mirror Trading International, Johann Steynberg or any of its promoters are registered to offer securities in Texas.
Consequently the TSSB asserts MTI and promoters Cullison, Herceg and Knott are
illegally soliciting Texans to purchase fraudulent investments in (Mirror Trading International’s) cryptocurrency and forex trading pool.
Specific examples of marketing claims cited by the TSSB include (quoted verbatim):
- investors deposit as little as $100 and make an average of 10% per month;
- investors simply need to “[j]ust sit back and watch [their] MONEY grow;
- the investments pay “daily trade income”, the daily trade income is “automatically compounded” and “compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world”;
- the investment “grows your bitcoin compounding daily earning an average of 10% per month”;
- the investments have more than 200+ days straight with positive gains; and
- the investments close 600 to 800 trade each day and have not lost a trade in almost a year.
Steve Herceg is called out for targeting the economically vulnerable,
by encouraging them to put their governmental assistance “stimulus/covid check to work” by purchasing (MTI) investments.
The TSSB also draws attention to the US promoters failing to inform potential investors of their previously bankruptcies.
Michael Cullison filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcies in 1999, 2006, 2011 and 2015.
Brian Knott filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010 and 2019. Steve Herceg filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2017.
The above disclosures are legally required as part of securities law. Also required are disclosures on Mirror Trading International’s behalf, which as noted by the TSSB are not provided.
In connection with the offer of investments in the cryptocurrency and forex trading pool, respondents Mirror Trading and Steynberg are intentionally failing to disclose Steynberg’s business repute, qualifications and experience.
Mirror Trading and Steynberg are (also) intentionally failing to disclose material facts relating to the administration of the “digital software” and “artificial intelligence” used to trade forex.
MTI, Steynberg, Cullison, Knott and Herceg have been ordered to cease operating and promoting Mirror Trading International in Texas.
Whether the SEC has instigated a federal investigation into the company and its promoters is unknown.
BehindMLM reviewed Mirror Trading International in October 2019. Our review correctly identified Mirror Trading International as a securities fraud Ponzi scheme.
One final note is respondent Brian Knott identifying himself as a Forsage promoter in his official LinkedIn profile.
BehindMLM reviewed Forsage in April 2020. Based on its business model, Forsage is a cryptocurrency gifting scheme.
Whether Knott’s promotion of Forsage in the US will lead to any regulatory action remains to be seen.
Mirror Trading International and the individual respondents have thirty-one day to respond to the TSSB’s order. Failing which the cease and desist notice becomes a permanent injunction.
Continued promotion of Mirror Trading International in Texas runs the risk of a $10,000 fine and prison sentence of two to ten years.
BUH MUH BLOCKCHAIN!
This is brilliant news! Squirm out of this Johan.
South Africa is a very small place for criminals to hide, ask your mate at AVS. Now you’re on the radar of the FBI!
Well, that didn’t last long for Wes Garner. What idiot would be on his team as he has a history of picking ponzi’s right before they begin to collapse. Losers! Btw, he’s now pimping Zinzino.
This popped up in Google’s news feed:
There’s a picture of a storefront in Austin, Texas that Mirror apparently recruited out of. There’s also a mention of Forsage at the end (“sureshot pyramid model”: Philippines SEC).
Still waiting for an MTI disciple to comment on this review, defending MTI on this matter……….
Apparently MTI had their first ever negative day a day before the news was published. Funny how that works ey?
Just an update: as of yet I have not received or found any news or information that MTI is indeed engaging with the FSCA and/or the Texas Securities board. Only news available is that they said they were going to engage with the parties.
I have however noticed that a few MTI members are advertising MTI but without making any use of MTI’s name, almost as if they are trying to now operate under the radar.
There is also a clause in MTI’s terms and conditions where it states that members are not allowed to share negative news about MTI with each other (but rather send it straight through to the MTI itself) as that can result in the termination of their membership. Kind of like a “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” type of thing.
Will comment if anything changes
Can’t speak to the FSCA but we’ll know within a month or so whether they engaged the TSSB.
This is typically what happens:
TSSB: unregistered securities.
Scam to public: We are outraged. The TSSB doesn’t understand our business model. This is a great injustice. We are going to sue the SSSB in the Supreme International Space Court etc. etc.
Scam privately to TSSB: BUT MUH BLOCKCHAIN!
TSSB: STFU. Unregistered securities.
*31 days deadline lapses*
TSSB: Scam is totes illegal and now banned for life.
Scam: Either collapses or carries on like nothing happened (and then collapses within a few months anyway).
Source: Every MLM crypto scam pulled up by the TSSB.
Thanks for the insight. It would appear that MTI is now a ticking time bomb destined for a collapse in the near future.
Well done on your investigative journalism sir. You really have done a good job on it.
Let’s watch what happens with these fellows.
So I saw a video today in which MTI is now referring to the TSSB situation as a slandering campaign by their rivals………….
I was wondering if it’s worth sending the link to the Youtube video to the TSSB or it would just be a waste of time.
If MTI are going down the conspiracy route it’s because the TSSB isn’t buying their bullshit.
Dunno if sending the video to the TSSB would do anything but I wouldn’t mind covering it for the lulz (assuming it’s a corporate video and not just some raging affiliate investor).
Hey Oz. So it is an affiliate investor. This individual has done a series of videos about how he has done thorough research on MTI and has irrefutably proven that MTI is not a scam.
The video does however feature a clip of the CEO also referring to the TSSB situation as a scam.
If you’d like to check it the link is as follows: youtu.be/yVSSrKMZshA
Also take note that in aal his videos the youtube channel Crypto Stacks always comments on all his video about how amazing and thorough his videos are. Almost as if they are hyping each other’s channel cause obviously they ask people to join their binary.
Thanks for that. If the vid is still up tomorrow I’ll take a look through it.
I saw that video a few days ago. It’s typically stupid.
This guy moves in circles where it’s considered important evidence for an investment company being legit that it’s rented some office space somewhere.
That in itself is dumb enough, but the evidence for the existence of this rented office then consists of a few pictures of an office building which anyone could make, or even pluck off the web, and one shot of a corridor showing a door with a Mirror Trading sign on it.
There is of course the usual nonsense about cryptocurrency being unregulated, and Mirror Trading therefore not being subject to any laws.
But the to me hilarious bit is an explanation of how Mirror Trading, despite claiming to make those huge profits of theirs through forex trading, doesn’t actually trade any currency, they only ever handle bitcoin (because apparently, if they did buy and sell currencies, they’d suddenly become subject to those pesky law things again).
You see, forex trading is just like betting in a casino. There, you use chips instead of real money. In exactly the same way Mirror Trading uses bitcoins as its chips, in the giant worldwide forex casino.
No currencies are actually bought or sold there, people just place bets on how the exchange rates will change. And when they win such a bet (which in Mirror Trading’s case is always), they get more bitcoin.
Making tons of money from forex trading without ever touching any forex, and only ever owning exer-increasing amounts of bitcoin, how brilliant is that?
Is it just the small clip in the middle where Steynberg dismisses the C&D as a “smear campaign”? He didn’t actually use the word scam.
There is such a thing as spread betting on forex where no actual foreign currency changes hands, or not in the investors’ name.
So the concept of “forex trading without ever touching any forex” is not as stupid as it might sound.
(You would expect the bookie to buy foreign currency to ensure that it has the money to pay out successful bets, however the dodgier bookies don’t bother, counting on doing a runner if their bets go the wrong way. This is known as a “bucket shop”.
Whether they do or don’t cover their risk, if all the punter owns is a promise to pay them X if the currency behaves in a certain way, that’s a bet and not forex. Whether they are “trading forex” is a semantic question but they objectively don’t own forex at any point. If I bet on a horse I don’t part-own that horse.)
What makes the affiliate a dumbass is that pooling other people’s money, using it to place spread bets and paying them a passive ROI is a security, exactly the same as if you pool their money to trade forex.
Spread betting is typically more laxly regulated than actual financial instruments (it comes under the gambling regulator rather than the financial regulator) which may make it more attractive to Ponzi scammers.
Obviously a Ponzi scheme offering a security comes under the remit of the financial regulator regardless of how they put on their show, however they may find it easier to open accounts with spread betting bookies than stockbrokers.
Is it just the small clip in the middle where Steynberg dismisses the C&D as a “smear campaign”? He didn’t actually use the word scam..
Hey Oz, yeah my mistake. I actually don’t know why I said that he said it’s a scam. Probably cause I associate MTI with the word scam. That was a mistake on my part and I apologize for that.
What’s really striking to me is that Steynberg also said that he is glad about the people who withdrew their money as he does not want skeptics to invest with MTI. So he’s changed his tune from: we wanna show the world how transparent and legit we are to: if you doubt us, we don’t want your bitcoin.
It’s interesting to not that MTI had their first negative day on 7 July and the TSSB news came out on 8 July. My guess is that the negative day came as a result of people (primarily in Texas) withdrawing all their BTC from MTI.
However this, according to their business model, shouldn’t have affected returns as the “bot” would’ve traded the same regardless of people withdrawing their BTC. I just though it very coincidental that these to occurrences happened barely a day apart.
Once again, apologies for my blunder.
All good. Either way he’s signalling the Texas C&D will become permanent.
Banking noose gets tighter and tighter…