Mirror Trading International’s CEO is arrested in Brazil for running a Ponzi scheme

Johann Steynberg has nowhere to go after his name was revealed in a Brazilian region, and he is now being held by police on suspicion of defrauding thousands of investors in South Africa and overseas.

The CEO and owner of Mirror Trading International were seized by military police and the Rapid Ostensive Intervention Group (Giro) in Goiás, Brazil’s capital city. Brandon Topham, head of enforcement at South Africa’s financial regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, was informed of the arrest by South Africa’s elite police unit, The Hawks.

Prior to his capture, Interpol and the FBI had designated Steynberg as a wanted man. Brazil’s law enforcement was warned about a suspect who was allegedly using forged papers but did not immediately approach him. Following that, they confirmed Steynberg’s identification as a South African wanted man for fraud and contacted him. He then provided fabricated papers, but the police were already aware of his genuine identity. He was detained on Dec. 29 and transported to the Federal Police headquarters in Goiás.

“The offender was submitted to the PF Superintendence in order to comply with an international arrest warrant and pay a fine for the crime of forging a document,” according to a statement released by Goiás military police.

“We don’t simply play with criminals in flip-flops,” the governor of Goiás province said. In the State of Goiás, a high-level criminal does not ascend. Regardless of his position, he will face arrest. Our soldiers operate with great autonomy.” Military police have confiscated notebooks, credit cards, and phoney identities, according to reports.

According to Chainalysis, the Mirror Trading International Fraud was the year’s greatest crypto scam. The promise of up to 10% monthly profits enticed many investors to make the required bitcoin investment. Thousands of customers from the United States of America, Canada, Namibia, and other places were impacted. Steynberg’s firm is believed to have handled more over 29000 BTC. MTI ceased operations when the corporation started denying clients access to their original deposits and Steynberg disappeared. Steynberg’s whereabouts in Brazil were traced through a paper trail.

In 2020, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority launched a criminal investigation against Steynberg’s organisation and advised consumers to remove their funds. Creditors (those who contributed more than they received) were notified in August 2021 that unpaid payments will be repaid via liquidators and international law enforcement. This was overseen by a number of authorities, among them the FBI. Debtors (those who earned money) were advised that they may be required to repay the funds.

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