South Africa’s use of a broken liquidation system to try to control MLM Ponzi schemes is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever had to report on.
In the latest example of shocking incompetence, South Africa’s Revenue Service, which is in charge of taxes, wants to steal all of the money that has been recovered. The SA government sent the liquidators of Mirror Trading International a tax bill for R580,441,463.28 (USD 34.46 million) between not fining Mirror Trading International scammers and letting suspect MTI owners Clinton and Cheri Marks sit on hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen money.
As MyBroadband’s Jan Vermeulen points out;
If the tax was paid, it would use up almost all of the money that the scheme’s liquidators have found so far.
And if you think this can’t be argued about, like with US Receiverships, you’d be wrong.
When Mirror Trading International went out of business, civil liquidation proceedings were started. This is how the funds in question were taken. In other words, it had nothing to do with the South African government.
Instead of not wanting to regulate MTI or arrest anyone involved, the South African government is very good at making money off of other people’s work.
In a letter to the liquidators, SARS said they had to pay the full amount immediately and could argue about it later.
SARS warned that objections and appeals do not stop the government from being able to get the money, and that interest would still be added.
Right. And arguing with SARS that seized Ponzi funds should go to victims instead of government coffers will take another five or ten years in court?
After no one was held responsible for the Marks’ last Ponzi scheme, BTC Global, and after they let Mirror Trading International grow to $1.8 billion, it was up to Brazilian authorities to arrest Johann Steynberg after the fact.
Steynberg is in danger of being sent to South Africa. He worked with the Marks to run MTI. No information has been made public about pending criminal charges.
I’m not expecting much. The South African government wants to take what has already been recouped from MTI and forget about the $1.8 billion Ponzi scheme.
The Marks crime family will get to keep the hundreds of millions of dollars they stole, “Johann Steynberg mysteriously disappears after being sent to South Africa,” and that’s it.
I’m in the strange position of having to fight against government regulators. Usually, I tell people who have lost money in Ponzi schemes why they should let justice happen.
But there is no justice with Mirror Trading International and South Africa. Local criminals who have been caught are protected, while a broken regulatory system has failed victims for more than two years.