A few months later, another report said more than 8,000 BTC belonging to MTI had been “traced” and that investigators were on track to finding more. While liquidators are said to be expecting an “exponential increase in the amount recovered from the so-called net winners,” they are less certain about the growth rate of their expenditure.
Mirror Trading International is a trading and networking company that uses Bitcoin as its base currency and to pay member bonuses. It uses an automated system that takes the hassle out of Forex trading by doing it all for you. Johan Steynberg, from Polokwane in South Africa, is the CEO and founder of Mirror Trading International. There is a head office in Northcliff in Johannesburg.
Liquidators of the collapsed bitcoin Ponzi scheme Mirror Trading International (MTI) have so far spent approximately $4.9 million (90.2 million rands) on lawyers and consultants since assuming control, a report has said. According to a Mybroadband report, a total of approximately $6.1 million has so far been disbursed while a further $7.3 million is earmarked for liquidators’ fees.
In April 2021, a report said more than $70 million was raised from selling 1,281 bitcoins belonging to MTI. A few months later, another report said more than 8,000 BTC belonging to MTI had been “traced” and that investigators were on track to finding more.
Mirror Trading International’s liquidators have spent R90,243,021.55 on lawyers and consultants since taking control of the Bitcoin-based network marketing scam’s estate. In total, they have disbursed R113,007,185.31 and set aside R135,017,551.60 as their fee for when the case is finalised. This is according to a Provisional Liquidators Account MyBroadband has seen.
The document also shows the liquidators have only recovered an additional R14 million for the money they’ve spent. No money has been repaid to victims or “net losers” of the scheme. Mirror Trading International (MTI) was a scheme that started in South Africa, promising to grow members’ Bitcoin with yields averaging 10% per month. Members could also obtain substantial bonuses by recruiting more people into the scheme.
Thanks to this pyramidal structure, it drew in members worldwide. However, it should be noted that MTI has not formally been declared a pyramid or Ponzi scheme, as the judge presiding over the case, Alma de Wet, adjourned the case towards the end of 2022 and reserved her judgement. Former Western Cape judge president John Hlophe recently grilled De Wet for the number of deferred cases she has outstanding.
President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended Hlope in December on the advice of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). A JSC tribunal had found that Hlope attempted to influence two Constitutional Court justices in a case involving former president Jacob Zuma. Patricia Goliath is acting as Western Cape judge president in Hlope’s place.
Drama in South Africa’s judiciary notwithstanding, MTI made headlines in September 2020 when a group calling itself Anonymous ZA exploited vulnerabilities in its poorly-coded website.