It looks like authorities have ZERO tolerance for scammers nowadays. Brokers are shutting down and people are facing jail time. That’s good news for traders! Maybe in 2018 we will have less brokers but more trustworthy. Yup, looking forward to that but in the meantime here are the latest warnings from regulators across the globe.
Magnum Options Shuts Down In The UK
The UK High Court decided to shut down the binary options broker Magnum Options and two brands linked to the Bulgarian company Hampshire Capital Ventures Limited have been put in provisional liquidation. According to UK authorities, Magnum Options has defrauded investors of a total of 750,000 Pounds and provided investment advice without a licence. The companies are also accused of aggravated fraud. Several other regulators across the globe (NSSC, ASIC, etc.) warned against Magnum Options in the past.
Boiler Room Operation Goes Up In Flames
Jana Jaros and Jackson Laurence Malcom Capper were convicted and sentenced in Australia, following a raid conducted by the Queensland Police in conjunction with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
The two managed to set up the companies Old Cambridge Pty Ltd and Astra Group Pty Ltd using fake information, then hired staff and were convincing clients through cold calling to invest with the binary options broker Binary.Com, claiming that experienced traders will then manage the accounts. They were also selling membership to a trading system priced between $2,995 and $24,000. Sources: ASIC Media Release.
EZTD In Trouble With SEC
In 2016 the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered EZTD Inc. to pay approximately 1.7 Million USD for deceiving customers about the risks involved in Binary Options. About 4,000 clients were misled into investing with EZTD and in November 2017 the SEC announced they collected a total of $738,980 into the Fair Fund, which will be used to compensate cheated investors. However, it is not clear how much the SEC managed to distribute or how will they identify the persons who should receive compensation.
ASIC Goes To War With TitanTrade
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) successfully applied in Court to have the operators of TitanTrade restrained from operating a financial business. Orders were also granted to freeze funds of the companies involved but then ASIC filed contempt charges because certain defendants breached the mentioned freeze orders. In English: Court said “Don’t touch the money” but TitanTrade (aka owning company and/or person(s)) still did… allegedly.
ASIC also issued a public warning against One Tech Media Limited (OTML) (based in the Seychelles and later in the Marshall Islands) and Ultra Solutions MG (UK) Ltd (USMG) (based in the UK), saying that they have offered binary options trading without holding the appropriate licence. TitanTrade and Tradettn.com are operated by One Tech Media and UK-domiciled DOM Technology Services. The latter is registered to the same address as Ultra Solutions MG. Sources: ASIC Media Release, Leaprate.
Metro Options – Too Little, Too Late
The binary options broker Metro Options has been “defunct” since December 2016, yet the UK Insolvency Service has just announced that it has closed down this brokerage. It’s about one year too late and it will probably bring zero comfort to the clients that have been scammed. The brokerage solicited funds from over 600 retail clients, promising huge bonuses (100%) and huge returns of up to 500 Pounds per trade. They also claimed that all losses incurred over a 90 days period would be refunded. Sounds familiar? The UK authorities are still tracking some of Metro Options’ representatives. Source: Finance Magnates
It looks like authorities are doing their best to clean up the mess and to give us a safer trading environment. It’s still not perfect but it’s better than before and at least now the regulators are taking a more active role and a hands-on approach. Hopefully this will scare away some of the scammers and we will have a scam-free 2018.