Luitingh and Associates, the attorneys launching the liquidation application against Mirror Trading International (MTI), is appealing to all creditors to advise them of any claim against the scheme.
This follows a statement by MTI management that they have lost contact with the company’s CEO, Johann Steynberg, and that they are uncertain about the status of the scheme’s funds.
According to the statement, MTI has struggled to obtain bitcoin from its broker with which to pay members’ withdrawals.
Steynberg’s disappearance and MTI’s statement follows recent news from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) that it has opened a criminal case against the company.
The FSCA said that MTI and its senior management are conducting an illegal operation, are misleading clients, and have contravened several laws.
It filed the criminal complaint after conducting a simultaneous raid on three locations related to MTI in October – its offices in Stellenbosch, and the homes of two members of its leadership.
The FSCA’s investigation into MTI unearthed the use of fake trade statements, undeclared losses, and possible fraud involving thousands of bitcoins.
Prior to the raid, the FSCA issued a warning that people should withdraw their money from the scheme.
Shortly after Steynberg’s disappearance and the MTI management statement, two high court applications for the liquidation of MTI were filed by investors unable to withdraw funds.
Luitingh and Associates has now created a website to make it easy for MTI investors who lost funds to lodge a claim against the scheme.
Anyuschka Nett, attorney at Luitingh and Associates, says that it is vital that creditors complete a requisition form found on www.mtiliquidation.co.za.
“We need to be fully aware of all claims against MTI to adequately assist the public to recoup their investments,” said Nett.
“Despite FSCA warnings, the number of MTI members has grown to an estimated 280,000, which means the loss is potentially a massive blow to many people.”
Nett said that while this is not a first or last of its kind in South Africa, at an estimated R8 billion loss, it does appear to be one of the largest to have occurred.
“We need to work fast to recover assets in a swift and competent manner and would like to avoid a lengthy and protracted liquidation process,” said Nett.