Daily fraud update: 16th March

Chris Lee

Somalian politicians affected by alleged foreign exchange fraud

Art of a man crawling into beartrap with bills in the centre

A group of politicians and other senior officials in the sub-Saharan African country of Somalia are believed to have fallen victim to a case of alleged forex fraud.

It is understood that some of those associated with the Maalin Group Company have been conned out of a figure close to $59m.

The Maalin Group Company, however, is now believed to have not been real.

There is also a concern that the alleged scam might be international in nature, with a connection to Kenya also now being investigated.

It is understood that the firm was registered in the Kenyan city of Nairobi.

Press reports suggest that a man called Abdalla Mohamed Ali, who is Somali in origin, was allegedly responsible for running the supposedly fraudulent firm.

He is now unable to be traced.

According to the local press, one of the alleged victims – named Ibrahim Salah – has released a statement explaining what he perceived to have happened.

Salah was understood to have participated in a meeting regarding the alleged fraud.

“They told us that the Abdalla guy who escaped is still missing”, he said.

“The board had contacted his father, and he told them that he did not speak to his son. Mohamed said that they checked 13 accounts and found that in total these account were only holding 6,000 dollars.”

He also went into detail about the level of loss that some people had allegedly experienced.

“There were a lot of people in the meeting who had lost money. Some Somali [investors] had 13 million [US dollars] in the company”, he said.

“There were others who lost 3 million, 2.5 million, 1 million. I asked Mohamed Hassan, privately, for the total money the company was holding. He told me that it was 59 million [dollars], close to 60 million”, he added.

US regulator reaches basic settlement with alleged fraudster

Emblem of CFTC outside office building

A man who is accused of having carried out a six-figure foreign exchange fraud has reached a settlement in principle with a US regulator.

Brett G. Hartshorn, who has been accused by authorities of fraudulent solicitation of around $900,000, appears to have agreed to the terms outlined by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

He is alleged to have solicited the cash on the basis that he would use it for foreign exchange trading purposes.

According to the industry press, the defendant has now agreed pay a settlement in principle – although the exact details of this were not immediately available.

Articles covering the news delved back into Hartshorn’s alleged interactions with his alleged victims, who he supposedly met via a church group.

“Feel free to bring me a check to church tonight”, he is accused of saying to some of them.

“It’s cool for me to see my reward whenever it’s over a grand as we agreed. Very motivating! These checks will eventually be five figures…how much fun will that be for both of us !” he supposedly added.

Chris Lee

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