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According to a December 2020 FXChoice support ticket, Johann Steynberg or a person posing as him tried to access 1282 BTC from MTI’s account, which was then confiscated.

The ticket also shows that Steynberg had a distorted perception of US securities law.

There are no known connections between Mirror Trading International and FXChoice, a third-party trading broker.

Mirror Trading International said that FXChoice was how it made money from trading.

When FXChoice closed MTI’s accounts in August 2020, this came to an end.

Steynberg received the following support email from FXChoice on August 7, 2020:

Greetings, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg

This letter is to let you know that your account has been flagged as fraudulent.

You won’t be able to access your Backoffice or any of your accounts anymore as a result.

We are in this situation as a result of the recent Cease and Desist order from the Texas State Securities Board and your failure to demonstrate the source of your cash.

We will remove the “Fraud” classification from your account if you successfully contest the cease-and-desist order against you and give us financial documentation from Mirror Trading International proving that you have submitted Annual Returns.

my heartfelt thanks,

Affiliate Department of FXChoice

FXChoice confirmed MTI hadn’t conducted any major trading activity at the time.

Following a Texas cease and desist order for securities fraud, FXChoice closed MTI’s account.

1282 BTC in the account were effectively frozen as a result of FXChoice shutting MTI’s account(s).

By the end of 2020, Steynberg would leave South Africa. This came after the confirmation of many regulatory inquiries into MTI.

On December 20, MTI would formally acknowledge Steynberg’s disappearance. The alleged proprietors of MTI, Cheri and Clinton Marks, said they hadn’t heard from Steynberg since December 14.

Steynberg sent FXChoice an email the same day asking the broker to release the 1282 BTC that were kept in MTI’s frozen account.

17669987 (dated 12/14/2020)

Your account has been tagged as fraudulent.

Hello, FXChoice

In response to your email from August 7, 2020, I’m writing to you.

As you are aware, the Texas State Securities Board sent us a cease-and-desist letter on July 7.

After our legal team responded to their notification, it has been over five months since we last heard from the Commissioner of the State of Texas.

Disgruntled competitors in our business started the wild goose chase. It has been determined by our legal staff that this matter is now finished.

For the record, MTI did not object to Texas’ notification. This indicated that it became permanent after 30 days.

US regulatory cease-and-desist orders for securities fraud do not have a set expiration date.

Steynberg pointed FXChoice to MTI’s filed “annual reports” in answer to inquiries concerning the origin of the bitcoin that MTI had frozen.

I’ve also included screenshots that demonstrate how our annual returns are filed.

I thus formally request that the status of our account is corrected and that the 1282 BTC account balance be paid to the wallet address listed below.

34FuYYSWbikidcYRgfMfvoddnzXeGTqqLj

I hope everything is in order and am waiting for your response.

best regards

Steynberg, CJ

The bitcoin wallet that was provided has not been utilized. It looks to be a fresh wallet that Steynberg created just for FXChoice’s bitcoin transfers.

Steynberg’s request was referred by FXChoice to their legal team.

When they still hadn’t responded as of February 5th, Steynberg tried again.

nice day

On this ticket, I have not yet received a response.

Regards,

Stephen Steyn

Responding on February 8th, FXChoice

Greetings, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg

I appreciate your email.

You are under criminal investigation, according to the FSCA of South Africa. While the inquiry is ongoing, we are unable to provide you with any money.

We highly advise you to get in touch with them if you have any queries about the money that was placed into your account.

Best regards,

FXChoice

Steynberg appeared to be angered by the news that MTI was being investigated by the FSCA, South Africa’s leading financial regulator.

Wow. That is crazy. You are not under the FSCA’s purview.

On February 9th, FXChoice replied by shutting Steynberg’s support ticket without additional explanation.

We’re not clear why Steynberg was still in denial by February 2021, given that the FSCA confirmed a criminal inquiry into MTI on December 17th.

In any case, the FSCA’s probe has produced no results yet. The FSCA hinted in July of last year that they “may” penalize MTI; it’s clear that now, six months later, they are still debating that choice.

Bitcoin was worth $46,481 on December 14, 2020, when he made his request. This means that Steynberg would have gotten off with USD 59.8 million had FXChoice released the bitcoin.

Liquidators reported in March 2021 that they had recovered 1200 BTC from FXChoice.

The MTI civil liquidation case is still in progress.

Last month, Steynberg was detained in Brazil.

It’s still unclear to us whether he will be returned to South Africa or the US.

In related news, South African blogger Louis Nel has written a post titled “MTI – The Missing Pieces.”

Nel examines many facets of Mirror Trading International in his piece with assistance from an unnamed source.

According to Anonymous, the regulators intervened on July 20, 2020, when Johann Steynberg and Tom Fraser, MTI’s business advisor, met with Gerhard van Deventer and Andrea Coetzer from the FSCA.

“Both Steynberg and Fraser testified under oath that they engaged in illegal conduct and that no one at MTI was fit to hold such a position, but I am focused more on the subtext here and have marked a few things,” said the witness.

If you have been following the MTI drama, it is worth reading.

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