Friday 13th: the latest in the crypto fraud world

Chris Lee

Here’s the latest from the worlds of foreign exchange fraud and crypto fraud commentary as of Friday 13th September.

Ex-HSBC currency trader loses conviction appeal

A man who was convicted of wire fraud in relation to a forex transaction while working for HSBC has had his appeal against his conviction denied.

Mark Johnson, who used to be the head of HSBC’s currency dealing unit, was found guilty by a New York court in 2017.

He was accused of “forex rigging” in a transaction involving Cairn Energy, a Scottish company.

The firm had hired HSBC to turn an asset sale’s proceeds from US dollar into pounds, and Johnson worked on the case.

He was found guilty of telling – or at least hinting to – colleagues that the market-moving transaction was about to be made, which meant that they themselves could then place trades which predicted the outcome.

This practice is known as “front-running”.

However, Johnson was found guilty of the practice in 2017, and was sentenced to two years in prison.

He was also fined, but he was told that he would be allowed to return back to the UK while the appeal case was held.

The most recent verdict throws into doubt whether or not he will need to leave his base in the UK and serve in the US.

In a statement, those who reached the conclusion said Johnson had been responsible for “misrepresentations”.

“We conclude that Johnson’s misrepresentations provided sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to defraud Cairn”, the judges said.

In response to the news, Johnson’s lawyer Alexandra Shapiro – who is based in New York – described the ruling as making the legal team “extremely disappointed”.

“We are extremely disappointed with the result. Mark Johnson is innocent. We intend to keep fighting to ensure that justice prevails and will explore every legal avenue possible to clear his name”, she said.

Press outlets did not receive any comments from either HSBC, his former employer, or the US Department of Justice – which brought the case.

Researchers warn of QR code scams in crypto world

Researchers have revealed a significant crypto scam risk for those looking for QR code generators when trading bitcoin.

According to ZenGo, which provides crypto wallet services, 80% of the top results in Google when searching for the term “bitcoin qr generator” in fact take users to fake, fraudulent sites.

These sites can then trick the user into thinking that they have received a QR code for their own wallet’s destination – when in fact they could be transferring assets to someone else’s.

It is believed that around $20,000 in value has been lost to such scams.

In a blog post published by ZenGo, the researchers said the amount could be even higher.

“Summing up the balances of the scammy addresses we had observed, we found out about scams worth about $20K”, it said.

“We assume they are just the tip of the iceberg, as scammers probably change their addresses to avoid detection and blacklisting.”


Chris Lee

Latest news

Crypto Rollercoasters, Meme-stock Explosions and Nasdaq Highs – There’s Something for Everybody
Over the weekend, the Forex Fraud analysts picked through last week’s US Federal Reserve inspired sell-off to establish something odd about the slow-motion price move. Read more
Is This a Dip to Buy or the Start of a Market Correction?
The surprising change in tone by the US Federal Reserve last Wednesday has been followed by a very slow-motion, minor market correction. Read more

Safest Forest Brokers 2020

Broker Info Best In Customer Satisfaction Score
#1 ForexTime LogoYour capital is at risk Founded: 2011 Global CFD & FX Broker
Number One Broker
BEST FOREX BROKER Visit broker
5
#2 ForexTB logoYour capital is at risk Founded: 2015 Global Forex & CFD Broker
Number One Broker
LOWEST FEES Visit broker
4.9
#3 Tickmill forex broker logoYour capital is at risk Founded: 2014 Global Forex & CFD Broker
Number One Broker
Best Trading Conditions Visit broker
4.9
#4 BlackBull MarketsYour capital is at risk Founded: 2014 Global Forex Broker
Number One Broker
BEST SPREADS Visit broker
4.8
#5 Forex Broker Pepperstone LogoCFDs and FX are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Founded: 2010 Global Forex Broker
Number One Broker
Low minimum deposit Visit broker
4.9

    Forex Fraud Certified Brokers

    City Index Logo
    OctaFX Logo
    Exness Small Logo
    skilling logo
    ATFX Logo
    FXTM Logo
    BlackBull Markets Small Logo
    XM Logo
    IQ Option Logo
    LegacyFX Small Logo
    HYCM Logo
    IC Markets Logo
    Plus500 Small Logo
    Vantage FX logo
    Forex.com Logo