A group of multinational investors is said to have lost as much as $50 million after funneling their money into a Bitcoin investment group called Bitcoin Global.
The group consisted mainly of South Africans, but the group also included Americans and Australians.
First reported by a South Africa’s Sunday Times, up to 27, 500 people may have been affected by the apparent Ponzi scam. A couple of the victims claim to have lost as much as $117,000.
All of this was learned when thousands of investors filed complaints against Bitcoin Global to South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Investigation.
“I have spoken to one of the investigators in our team and he has confirmed that this matter came to them about two weeks ago,” said Capt. Lloyd Ramohva, spokesperson for South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Investigation.
“There are in excess of 27‚500 complainants with many outside South Africa. The amount is over $50 million and could rise as more victims come forward.”
Bitcoin Global was launched on Sept. 15, 2017 by a prominent trader named Steven Twain.
Bitcoin Global promised to provide an avenue for investors to buy Bitcoin, at which point they would then be encouraged to invest in the company and were promised anywhere from 2% to 14% returns weekly.
Initially, Twain was able to convince investors to trust Bitcoin Global because of his previous accomplishments in binary options. Two weeks ago Twain seemed to disappear from the Internet.
At that point in time people were receiving dividends, although the payments would greatly fluctuate and were unpredictable, allege investors.
‘Shocked and angry’
That’s about when South African investigators first started to receive complaints against Bitcoin Global.
“The investigation is in its infancy,” Ramohva said
“I also cannot say whether it is a Ponzi scheme. BTC Global is being investigated for contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.”
According to the team behind Bitcoin Global, who have been posting updates on Facebook as well as their official website, payment details were sent to Twain on Feb. 18.
After that date, the Bitcoin Global team stopped getting responses from Twain, they said. As of this writing, no one leadership or administrative positions has heard from Twain himself.
The update from Bitcoin Global went on to say: “The admin team cannot locate him. If anyone has ANY information on how we can get in contact with him please get in touch and let us know.”
“We call for the threats, harassment and violence on leaders and admin to stop. It is unfathomable that people can behave like this. If you feel you’ve had a crime committed against you, you need to follow the legal procedures to deal with the matter. We are as shocked and angry as everyone.”
“But we all knew the risks involved in placing funds with Steven. We all became complacent with Steven. And all of us funded him independently. Until Steven Twain resurfaces or is found there is nothing the admin team can do.”