A cryptocurrency trading platform that lied about its celebrity backers has been closed down by an arm of the British government.
GPay Ltd, which had the brand name XtraderFX and was previously referred to as Cryptopoint, has been “wound up in the public interest” – which means that it must now close down.
The move, which was announced formally this week but which took place last week, happened in the High Court in front of a Deputy Judge.
Now, the Official Receiver – the British government’s designated office for conducting some bankruptcies and similar moves – has been told to liquidate the firm.
According to a press statement from the British government, the firm engaged in false advertising in an attempt to get traders on board.
It published these adverts on the internet, and routed some of them through social media channels.
“Customers were encouraged to use GPay’s online trading platform through advertisements that falsely claimed the service was supported or endorsed by entrepreneurs that starred in a prime-time TV show and a high-profile money saving website,” it said.
“Following complaints, however, the Insolvency Service conducted confidential enquiries into GPay’s activities before investigators uncovered that at least 108 clients claimed they had lost in total just under £1.5 million while using the company’s online trading platform,” it added.
However, there were other complications – some of which involved insurance products.
“In some cases, clients lost money despite paying insurance which was meant to retrospectively cover their losses,” the statement explained.
In a development common in cases like this, clients were faced with difficulties when attempting to withdraw cash.
“If clients attempted to remove funds from their trading accounts, they were advised that no withdrawals could be made until they submitted copies of their photo ID, a utility bill and debit or credit card,” the government said.
“This level of information, however, was not asked by GPay when they accepted clients’ deposits,” it added.
According to David Hill, who serves as a chief investigator at the British government’s Insolvency Service, the firm was “nothing but a scam”.
“GPay persuaded customers to part with substantial sums of money to invest in cryptocurrency trading,” he said.
“This was nothing but a scam as GPay tricked their clients to use their online platform under false pretences and no customer has benefited as their investments have been lost,” he added.
He also said that the Insolvency Service was pleased about the High Court’s choice because it could help protect other victims in the future.
“We welcome the court’s decision to wind-up GPay as it will protect anyone else becoming a victim,” he said.
“This scam should also serve as a warning to anyone who conducts trading online that they should carry-out appropriate checks before they invest any money that the company is registered and regulated by the appropriate authorities,” he added.
Anyone who has any questions about the affairs of those involved are asked to get in touch with the Official Receiver.
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