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Finally, here’s the latest on the South African Mirror Trading liquidation proceedings:

*makes a mental note*

Every MTI victim claim has been denied; the lone claim that has been allowed was made by JNX Online, a corporation owned by MTI founder Johann Steynberg.

The farce goes on…

I’m not going to claim to know everything there is to know about South African law. I’m aware of the situation in the United States, where a Receiver/Trustee is established, fraudsters are prosecuted, and victims with genuine claims are finally compensated.

In its place, South Africa has a complicated liquidation system. This procedure takes place without the involvement of South African authorities.

The second meeting of Mirror Trade International creditors took place on February 4th, according to MoneyWeb.

The conference came to a close with

All investor claims were turned down because they were ‘illegible.’

The trustee of JNX Online, a firm founded by MTI founder Johann Steynberg and his wife Nerina, was the sole claim approved by the Master of the Cape High Court, Zukile Mabusela.

Steynberg utilized JNX Online to purchase and sell bitcoin (BTC) as well as pay MTI creditors and workers.

This means that MTI staff will be paid before the Ponzi scheme’s victims for some strange reason.

Here is a list of MTI’s personnel for your convenience:

The issue is that the majority, if not all, of MTI’s employees, are also among the scheme’s highest earners. At the very least, they are connected to them.

To that purpose, liquidators released the following statement in November:

It’s unlikely that any employee may still file a claim against MTI for unpaid wages.

But, certainly, sure, The fact that Johan Steynberg’s firm is the only viable claim does not appear to bother anyone participating in the liquidation process.

Clynton Marks (right, with fellow alleged co-owner and wife, Cheri Marks), MTI’s highest earner and suspected co-owner, had his claim denied.

Clynton Marks, a 50% stakeholder in MTI and a creditor for R135.6 million in bitcoin loans to MTI, had his claim denied as well.

His attorney, John Suttner SC, questioned why the claim was denied because it was not for a return of investment. Suttner described the claim as “clearly liquidated.”

The Master responded that Mark’s assertion was unsupported.

I’m not shocked Marks couldn’t prove he was the rightful owner of $8.9 million in stolen monies. I’m not sure why the allegation was even considered in the first place.

When it came to MTI’s victims, getting ripped over evoked a typical reaction.

Creditors are allegedly enraged that the resolutions give the liquidators broad rights to conduct investigations and take whatever steps are required to locate lost bitcoin, believing that this is a blank check to run up expenditures at their expense.

Hendrik van Staden, who represents 920 creditors with a total claim value of R229.8 million, informed the Master that he was not pleased with the rejection of the claims.

When the liquidators’ lawyer, Sybrand Tintinger, tried to draw the meeting to an end, Chris Kriel, who represents roughly 12 000 investors, voiced his disappointment that the liquidators’ statement was null and worthless.

“You [the Master] said that these liquidators must set a burden of evidence standard for this liquidation.

He remarked, “The liquidators are being obnoxious.”

The liquidators had access to the back office computer systems and could have reconstructed who had invested bitcoin and how much they had invested, but this had not been done.

“It’s ridiculous to reject thousands of these claims based on a technicality from the liquidators that they didn’t explain to the investors.”

“I’m going to publicize this meeting throughout the world and inform people how these liquidators are treating them,” Kriel stated.

Investors are harmed by the rejection of claims since they are denied the opportunity to vote on any resolutions proposed by the liquidators.

Again, I’m not familiar with South African law, but it appears that liquidators established claim criteria without informing anybody.

Then, acting in good faith and with the help of attorneys, MTI victims filed claims.

Based on their secret criteria, liquidators then rejected every claim that was made.

And it appears that this is all legal and part of South Africa’s post-scam liquidation process.

So, what happens after that?

Several creditors are allegedly considering reviewing the liquidation because of several irregularities, including the blanket denial of claims, which deprived creditors of the chance to vote on resolutions that allow the liquidators to build up expenditures at their expense.

Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing MTI’s liquidators, on the other hand, have over 8000 BTC. That’s worth $354.7 million now.

We don’t know if they’ve retrieved the money; all we know is that they know where it is. That was over a year ago…

Where are the authorities in South Africa amid all of this?

They haven’t done anything yet. In January 2021, the FSCA closed its criminal investigation into Mirror Trading International.

There have been no more updates eleven months after the study was completed.

In July 2021, there was speculation of a $6.9 million punishment, but that hasn’t materialized. Perhaps the FSCA submitted a claim for the fine, which was then dismissed by liquidators.

Johann Steynberg (right) was detained in Brazil last month, halfway around the world.

There have been no new developments. We don’t know if Steynberg will be extradited to the United States or South Africa.

I believe that if Steynberg is to face justice, he will only be able to do so if he is extradited to the United States.

If Steynberg is extradited to South Africa, I believe he will be freed and end up with the majority of the confiscated cash.

The case will remain dormant for the time being. Victims will be asked to put their losses behind them and move on.

The true tragedy of the MTI incident was documented in the Zoom meeting’s comments area.

“What happened to the 8,000 bitcoins that the liquidators claimed to have discovered?” one commentator inquired

“We may presume the liquidators will not be extracting any fees from the members since they have done nothing in the last year,” added another.

“How about the tens of thousands of individuals whose lives have been completely turned upside down?” Another was written.

“There are those who commit suicide and people who live in garages.”

Hopefully, the next MTI liquidation report won’t be for a long time. This is just too depressing to write about.

Update 16 February 2022 — There’s good news and terrible news.

MTI’s liquidators have issued a circular that gives further information on the liquidation process and what will happen next.

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