It has been a terrible week for MLM regulation around the world.
First, Dubai let someone go who was on Interpol’s list of people who should be arrested.
The worst part was that Dubai hadn’t even tried to catch the criminal yet. Instead, they had just turned themselves in.
Then, Bulgaria, where the OneCoin Ponzi scheme was started and is still going strong, tried to distance itself from the scheme’s founder, Ruja Ignatova.
Now, the FSCA in South Africa is punishing MTI Ponzi scammers by not charging them an R50 million fine.
That will teach them!
When the FSCA finally got around to looking into Mirror Trading International, in December 2020, they found that
MTI and its top leaders are running an illegal business, misleading clients, and breaking several laws.
In January 2021, the investigation by the regulator was over. The FSCA then did nothing for six months. In July 2021, they said MTI could be fined R100 million, which was about $6.9 million at the time.
After seven more months of doing nothing, the R100 million fine somehow dropped to R50 million and will now be completely waived.
MoneyWeb’s Ciaran Ryan said the following:
Last week, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) agreed to let Mirror Trading International off the hook for an administrative fine of R50 million that it was going to have to pay in 2021.
Brandon Topham, who is in charge of FSCA enforcement (which seems to be a real department), said:
“We knew that the administrative penalty, which was put on MTI instead of the people who ran it, would lower the amount paid out to members, so we didn’t see any reason to keep trying to get this money back.”
Cool. So the FSCA will finally go after Johann Steynberg and the Clinton family?
“We reserve the right to give administrative punishments to the people involved in running MTI in the future if the situation calls for it.”
The fact that the FSCA doesn’t care about MTI is a double blow to the people who lost money in the Ponzi scheme.
In 2018, Clinton and Cheri Marks got away with BTC Global, which was an $80 million Ponzi scheme that led to MTI.
Mirror Trading International was a Ponzi scheme that cost $589 million.
If Cheri and Clinton Marks (right) get away with it again, which it looks like they will, they’ll have all the money they’ll ever need.
MTI’s liquidators are said to have asked for the company to be let off the hook.
The FSCA didn’t object when the liquidators asked for the penalty to be taken away.
I looked at MTI’s mess with going out of business again in February. Since then, there haven’t been any big changes.
In December 2021, Johan Steynberg, the CEO of MTI, was picked up in Brazil on an international arrest warrant.
He is supposedly being sent somewhere else, but there have been no updates on his case that have been made public.
We also expect that any pending criminal charges against Steynberg will be dropped soon.