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Daily fraud update: 24th October

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South African regulator welcomes sentence

A regulatory body in South Africa has announced that it welcomes the 15 year prison sentence given to a man who stole 23m South African rand in a forex scam.

The country’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) said that it welcomed the development from the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crime Court.

Wilmot, who is 47, was sentenced last week.

Despite being entrusted with over 23m rand from his investors, he only actually traded around a tenth of that on the forex markets.

Almost 50 people were believed to have been scammed by him.

According to a statement from the FSCA, Wilmot decided to pursue an “extravagant lifestyle”.

“The remaining R20.8 million was used to fund Wilmot’s extravagant lifestyle, all while he reassured investors that their money was safe and increasing in value, and when prompted, produced fake documents as proof”, it said.

It said that people should always be wary before parting with their cash.

“There are instances where persons are registered to provide basic advisory services for a low risk product and then offer services of a far more complex and risky nature”, it explained.

Court case over Centra Tech begins

A court case in the US focusing on the alleged cryptocurrency investment scam Centra Tech has kicked off.

The scheme, which is accused of having caused the fraudulent loss of over $32m or its equivalent in crypto, is now out of business.

A group of people who claimed they were scammed by the scheme are now looking for justice.

Despite several attempts to get their case in front of the court in recent months, they are now finally able to do so after having been approved by the court.

They had been accused by a judge of waiting on purpose to bring their motion until such a time as Centra Tech was unable to defend itself due to having defaulted.

“The plaintiffs’ motion offers no excuse or justification for this delay. Moreover, the plaintiffs’ delay appears to be a deliberate decision to file the motion when it would be unopposed by a defaulting defendant”, US District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. had said.

However, it now appears that the case can begin to progress.

The scheme was controversial at the time due to the backing it received from some famous celebrities, including Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled – both of whom were later reprimanded for allowing themselves to be associated with it.

There are suggestions that Centra Tech ran an initial coin offering (ICO), which relied on untrue licensing agreements with major payment providers.

This led investors into believing that big names such as Visa and MasterCard were happy to work with the scheme – but in reality, they allegedly were not, and Centra Tech was allegedly lying.

There are no suggestions that Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled were themselves perpetrating the fraud.