Texas Securities Regulator Accuses South African Trading Pool of Crypto Fraud

Texas' securities watchdog ordered Mirror Trading International to cease operations, alleging the South African bitcoin and forex "investor club" is a multilevel marketing scam.

AccessTimeIconJul 8, 2020 at 7:46 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:28 a.m. UTC

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) on Wednesday ordered Mirror Trading International (MTI) to cease operations immediately, alleging the South African bitcoin and forex trading network is a multilevel marketing scam.

  • MTI, a self-described “investor club” that claims to yield 0.5% daily returns for 76,000 members through artificial intelligence-boosted bitcoin trades on foreign exchanges, fails to deliver to its fast-growing recruits, TSSB stated. Mirror did not immediately respond to a CoinDesk request for comment.
  • TSSB alleges Mirror CEO Cornelius Johannes "Johann" Steynberg was perpetrating an international multilevel marketing fraud and recruiting salespeople who do not have securities trading licenses. The regulator said Texans are among the victims.
  • Specifically, TSSB accused four Mirror associates – Forexandbitcoin.com, Michael Cullison, Steve Herceg and Brian Knott – of misleading Texans on their securities trading qualifications and past business failures. 
  • Cullison, who runs the Forexandbitcoin.com email account, denied committing any wrongdoing in an email to CoinDesk. He said bitcoin is not a security, he is not a fraudster and MTI has committed no crime.
  • "I don't sell anything and MTI doesn't sell anything. I refer people to MTI and that's it. I leave my bitcoin in MTI and it grows daily. The average is 10% per month. And it's compounding," he said.

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