MTI CEO Johan Steynberg now “missing”
Less than twenty-four hours after claiming CEO Johan Steynberg was abroad working on servers, Mirror Trading International now claims they haven’t heard from him since December 14th.
The revelation was made via an email sent out to MTI affiliates a few hours ago.
As per the email;
Johann Steynberg our CEO left South Africa on the 3rd of December for business. There was regular contact throughout the days with Johann providing us with updates and information.
On Monday 14th of December Johann had been processing withdrawals trying to clear the backlog.
Nerina (Johann’s wife) then received a communication to say he was going for some dinner & would later continue with the withdrawals. (He had processed over 3000 withdrawals prior to this message to Nerina)
Approximately 13 hours later Clynton Marks and Nerina (Johann’s wife) received an automated emergency email to say that Johann had not logged into the MTI system for 12 hours.
This security protocol email provided critical info for the team to start the process of working without Johann. (Up till that point Johann was the only one with authority to deal with the broker & technical team).
Up till today we have not heard from Johann again. We are extremely worried and a missing persons case has been filed.
Take most of that with a grain of salt. What does appear verifiable factual is Johan Steynberg fled South Africa and is now in hiding.
When combined with claims of hacking, Steynberg’s disappearance fits your typical exit-scam theater.
Looking forward MTI is stringing investors along with nonsense about brokers (MTI didn’t have a broker, Trade300 was a website set up by Steynberg), with no further updates till Monday.
As it stands today the technical team is back on track and actively assisting us. We have provided the requested documents to the broker to establish our ownership of the account at this stage.
This is a lengthy process. Unfortunately, being a weekend, we cannot expect further communication from the broker until Monday.
That gives Cheri Marks just over 24 hours to continue to the narrative and come up with more excuses.
It’s worth noting this exact same exit-scam model was used by Marks to wind up her previous Ponzi scheme, BTC Global Team.
BTC Global Team was a 14% a week ROI Ponzi that launched in mid 2017.
The “Johan Steynberg” BTC Global Team equivalent was Steven Twain. Nobody ever met Twain, nor did he appear on any audio or visual media.
The only evidence of Twain existing was a lone photo of some schmuck sipping a milkshake (right).
Further research revealed Twain’s digital footprint began around the same time BTC Global Team launched.
By mid February 2018 BTC Global Team had collapsed.
No one has had any contact with Steven Twain for over 24 hrs.
The leaders continue to actively try and connect with but have had no luck.
The next day this story was pushed out to BTC Global Team affiliates;
No one has had any contact with Steven Twain for over 24 hrs.
The leaders continue to actively try and connect with but have had no luck.
Speculations and accusations do not help anyone andrew [sic] own’t change the current situation.
In light of this unexpected situation the leadership and admin remain cautiously hopefully that there is a perfectly normal explanation for this delay and we sincerely hope to have more answers tomorrow.
We imagine at some point Cheri Marks will come up with a similar story for Johan Steynberg.
BTC Global Team, whose affiliates had been unable to withdraw for some time prior to Twain’s “disappearance”, didn’t resume operations.
Although never confirmed, it is believed BTC Global Team was in fact run by Cheri Marks (then Cheri Ward) and Andrew Caw.
South African police would eventually peg BTC Global Team investor losses at $80 million. A criminal investigation was launched but unfortunately didn’t go anywhere.
Had South African law enforcement have dealt with Cheri Marks and Andrew Caw in 2018, perhaps Mirror Trading International investor losses could have been avoided today.
Materially there is only superficial differences between BTC Global Team. Both were bitcoin Ponzi schemes.
With MTI Marks got an actual person to front the scam, having learnt a fictional owner quickly raises unanswerable questions.
What I suspect has happened is Steynberg has been paid off and gone into hiding. Where is anyone’s guess.
What Steynberg’s disappearance is intended to create is plausible deniability for Marks, which is probably what’s going to play out next week.
In other words, MTI’s collapse will be blamed on the “Steynberg abandoned us” boogeyman.
If they act quickly, South African authorities have a window of opportunity to hold Cheri and Clynton Marks (right), and the rest of the top local MTI promoters accountable.
That’s where you’ll find the bulk of MTI investor funds still able to be recovered. Bank accounts can be frozen, assets seized etc.
Of course with crypto being crypto, you’re going to have to throw a few people in prison for contempt before MTI’s scammers start squealing. But it is possible.
If MTI investor losses are high enough, Steynberg can be dealt with in time through Interpol and/or cooperation with foreign law enforcement.
Update 7th January 2022 – Brazilian authorities have arrested Johann Steynberg on an Interpol issued warrant.
Transcript of SA radio interview with FSCA:
One theory (as yet unprovable) advanced by some on the MyBroadband forum is that the Markses intended for Steynberg to be the patsy – a Steven Twain figure, but with the added advantage that the authorities could easily catch him. But that he turned the tables on them and made off with a lot of the loot just in time.
The problem with such theorizing is that it’s impossible to tell the difference between the Markses deliberately leaving crude clues incriminating Steynberg (such as a known, and transparent, alias of his being on the Trade300 site); and them all being bumbling idiots who left such clues inadvertently.
Because that would of course be central to any planned we-were-duped-by-Steynberg defense scenario from the Markses: they must plausibly maintain they had no idea that they had no broker, and that Trade300 didn’t exist except as an empty website, created by Steynberg.
Cheri Marks certainly throughout took care to maintain the fiction that “corporate” was a different bunch of people, and that she was essentially just in sales, as if she wanted to create plausible deniability around knowing anything about the actual trading.
That’s not something said with hindsight, it was quite obvious the whole time. They also always presented Steynberg as the IT-savvy one among the visible leadership.
Which is one more aspect of the total phoniness of their story. If they’re genuinely worried about him having gone missing, and have reported this to the police, why don’t they say in which country he went missing?
Surely if you’re worried about a missing person, the more information about their last known whereabouts is out there the better?
It certainly could all become very entertaining. What if they catch Steynberg, and he and the Markses start portraying each other as the villains and themselves as the dupes, with both sides denying they have the private keys to any MTI bitcoin wallets?
Honestly I think the jig is up for all three of them. I think they got too comfortable, judging by their arrogant responses to accusations throughout the year.
They felt they can’t get caught, having gotten away with something similar previously.
The FSCA actually did well to keep their investigation under the radar. They never really gave any solid indication that they have their man right until the last minute.
My guess would be that the FSCA were investigating MTI with the whole BTC Global thing in mind.
MTI kept saying they won’t be dragged into the media circus, yet they did all the talking in the media while the FSCA just went about their business investigating.
I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Steynberg agreed to cooperate with the FSCA in order to throw the Marks’ under the bus.
Why else was he the one to escape right before the proverbial shit hit the fan. It’s like he knew exactly when to skip town.
These are all just speculations of course. Let’s see what the brings. Having MTI burn to the ground and all their members fall on their faces would be the best Christmas gift ever!!
Cheri and Clynton Marks. I know you’re probably reading through this forum. You are the type of scum that enjoy to see what a stir you’ve caused.
You are both trash people that pray on the weak and ignorant. You are exactly the problem in this country.
This is hardly the kind of complicated scam where one needs an insider to be able to make a case.
Everyone could see what they were up to (as shown on this website and others), and the FSCA had also made perfectly clear, publicly, that they knew it to be a Ponzi (besides operating without a required license, of course).
They also have all the material seized in the October raids, plus the statements from FXChoice, plus the flows between the various bitcoin wallets (and that’s just what we know about). All showing that no actual trading was being done (except for some heavily loss-making attempts, very briefly, right at the start).
So what would they need Steynberg for?
That actually points in the opposite direction: criminals who do a deal of some kind with the authorities to rat on their associates normally aren’t allowed to then leave the country, they’re needed as witnesses.
There’s also nothing at all remarkable about the timing of his “escape”, anybody in his situation could have decided to try and do a runner, based only on publicly available information.
The FSCA raids happened in October. Then on November 26, the FSCA’s head of enforcement said in an interview that they’d found nothing to change their mind about MTI, and that there would be an “update” coming from them “within the next couple of weeks”, hopefully before the end of the year.
At that point at the very latest, it must have been clear to anyone within MTI that the shit had well and truly hit the fan, especially since they knew absolutely everything they were publicly saying in response to the FSCA was a lie.
The very first reports that surfaced of Steynberg having left SA, on the excellent MyBroadband forum thread, tentatively gave a departure date of December 2nd, four working days after the publication of that interview.
Johan Steynburg appears to have finally come clean on his Twitter feed, revealing all in a …errrm …“live webinar” (which ironically leaves little to the imagination)!!!
Anyone able to share the new Ulrich Roux & Associates announcement? I don’t have a MyBroadband account 🙁
What announcement is this now???
The statement can be found on dishonest.co.za/doku.php, under “ULRICH ROUX AND ASSOCIATES WITHDRAW AS ATTORNEYS FOR MTI”.
They’ve simply ditched their client. Which is of course what all respectable lawyers do whenever their client gets into legal trouble.
The relevant bit is:
I suppose the most important bit of news today is the complete silence from MTI itself. They’d tried to buy themselves some time at the beginning of the weekend by saying they wouldn’t be able to be in touch with the (imaginary) broker before Monday, but clearly they haven’t been able to come up with something to say now that that feeble excuse is gone.
There’s apparently been a Zoom call among the remaining leadership, but no public statement so far. Now that is a Zoom call one hopes will leak.
When it rains, it pours.
I withdrew 0.13533763 BTC on 11 Dec 2020 and it is just missing.
The transaction is not showing on my withdrawal report and the bitcoin is gone from my account.
I have over $20,000 sitting in my account waiting for a withdrawal
I pray we all have assets set aside by the regulators to cover these losses.
Hope the remaining leaders of MTI are going to do whatever they can to help the members who have been hurt by whoever the guilty parties were. Why do these things keep happening???
Im haitian American, I withdrew two transactions 0.29 and 0.22 with MTI, since the platform shown processing…
They told Johann should get back on today based on mti telegrah it’s true?
You have numbers on a screen that represents money that doesn’t exist.
Welcome to the Ponzi end-game.
As to why this keeps happening, the answer is real simple. As long as people, like yourself, keep falling for all the BS that these owners and their so-called “leaders” put out without doing any real due diligence it will never end.
These owners and their “leaders” are nothing more than con artists, narcissists, sociopaths, pathological liars, and criminals.
The “leaders” are everything but a leader. These so-called leaders will not be there to help anyone but themselves. I have no doubt they will claim they will, but it is just hot air. They just hope you buy it so you won’t sue them. They knew it was a Ponzi.
Besides, they are now off to their next: can’t miss, this is it, the real deal Ponzi de Jour. This is how they play the game. You were nothing more than a mark to them. They could care less about you and the financial hardship they may have caused you, and those like you.
What assets do you think are left? Most of the cash has been spent or sent offshore somewhere. Any houses, cars, boats, airplanes, jewelry, or other tangible items will be lucky to return 60 cents on the dollar and I’m being generous.
You are looking at years before there is any return to the victims provided there are real assets that can be recovered.
Welcome to reality and the real world of Ponzi’s. Not the rosy picture they painted when you joined this Ponzi is it.
I was completely blown away that the media never picked up the story of Milkshake man 2.
absolutely shocking that they got away with it, several high profile detectives worked on BTC global, Carte Blanche featured it and yet only those who listened to Cheri’s long stories when Twain dissapeared seemed to have remembered it. (Still on youtube)
pathetic that they were never properly investigated and charged at that time!!!
My man,you’re buying everything StinkEye is selling you.
All the management are in on it and dont give a fuck about you. You paid their lifestyle and now you are tossed aside.
Steynberg was contracted as my IT consultant back around 2012 to 2014 he then roped me in on his Bitcoin dealings and showed me some or other “clever Bot” programe….
didnt quite understand it but as he did my office computers i put in around R30000 and it seemed to grow.
but around October 2014 suddenly the trading site was closed and he “couldnt” gain access and he stated the trader had closed the site and had disappeared…..
i replaced him with a new IT service and cut my losses…..we were house friends back then….
so looking at the mess that he has left behind i was one of his test guinie pigs back then for bigger schemes to come.
Yip knew it would catch him one day….
I lost R200000.
I also lost money -they steel from us and what happen to them -even all the people in the ” Mirror Trading International ” photo all off them where part off this scam -if its R 20 or 400 000 its still stealing and for me worth millions .