Brains Behind South African Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme Ordered to Refund $291 Million

Eighteen individuals who are believed to be the masterminds of the defunct Mirror Trading International (MTI) have received summons from the liquidators of the South African Bitcoin Ponzi scheme.

The liquidators want the masterminds to pay back more than $291 million (4,666,077,528 rand) to cover the scheme’s debts.

Few months ago, liquidators unsuccessfully tried to have the online bitcoin trading platform declared an unlawful business by a South African court.

The move was frustrated by a slew of late court filings by lawyers representing MTI investors, per News.

Meanwhile, a report by Mybroadband suggests that the liquidators have since asked the Pretoria High Court to hold MTI masterminds liable as per the dictates of the Companies Act.

The liquidators reportedly argued that summonsed individuals including the co-owners of MTI, Johann Steynberg and Clynton Marks, were aware the bitcoin trading platform was insolvent.

The liquidators assert that all the summonsed individuals must be held to account for their part in perpetuating MTI’s fraudulent business.

Named the biggest crypto scam in 2020, MTI collapsed soon after its CEO Johann Steynberg disappeared with investor funds in late 2020. He was later arrested by Brazilian law enforcement in late 2021.