Australian police charge man with fraud over ‘Investment Café’ Forex scam

Maria Nikolova

‘Investment Café’ promised financial returns through investment in shares managed in a Forex trading platform.

The Queensland police have pressed fraud charges against a 38-year-old man formerly of Rockhampton, in relation with a large investment scam. In its announcement, the police said the charges were pressed following an 11-month investigation undertaken by officers from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group, Capricornia District.

Operation Papa Arches started after complaints were received regarding a business known as the “Investment Café”, which pledged financial returns through investment in shares managed in a Forex trading platform.

Police allege the Investment Café was never a registered business. Although some funds were invested, police say the offender converted in excess of $5 million of invested money for his own personal benefit. It is further alleged he used false statements to deceive investors.

In February, the 38-year-old man was located near Emerald. He was initially charged with two counts of fraud and remained in police custody. On Friday, March 9, 2018, police further charged the man with 38 fraud offences relating to the investment fraud.

The 38-year-old man is in custody and due to reappear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on May 10, 2018.

“There are 40 victims in this fraud largely from the Capricornia area. These victims entrusted the offender with their life savings, superannuation or redundancy payments, in the belief their funds were being properly managed”, Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said.

The latest data by Scamwatch, the body operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), shows that Australians reported $11,033,635 lost to various types of fraudulent schemes in February 2018, with investment scams topping the list of illicit schemes in terms of losses caused. The data shows that nearly half of all losses were due to investment scams – $5,005,307. The sum marks an increase of 8.7% from the investment fraud losses of $4.63 million reported in January 2018.

A type of investment fraud that is currently on the rise in Australia involves cryptocurrencies. Last week, Consumer Affairs Victoria, a business unit of the Department of Justice & Regulation, within the Victorian government, has voiced its concerns about Bitcoin scams.

Victoria’s consumer regulator said it had received reports of people being scammed through fake Bitcoin websites. The average amount lost is not that large – around $300, but apparently such type of fraud is worrisome.

Read this next

Digital Assets

FTX US adds stock trading, fractional shares to crypto platform

FTX US, the American subsidiary of crypto exchange FTX has kicked off stock trading feature to its customers in an effort to compete with popular platforms such as Robinhood and eToro.

Industry News

UK FCA empowered to remove brokers’ permissions in 28 days

Businesses with permissions they don’t need or use, risk misleading consumers. These new powers will enable us to take quicker action to cancel permissions that are not used or needed.

Industry News

CFTC charges $44m Ponzi scheme but millions may have fled to foreign crypto exchange

The CFTC alleged that defendants transferred millions of dollars to an off-shore entity that, in turn, may have transferred funds to a foreign cryptocurrency exchange. None of these funds were returned to the pool.

Technology

Saxo Bank deploys Adenza to address Basel and EBA requirements

The integration of ControllerView will enhance Basel-driven capital calculations and reporting at Saxo Bank in support of the bank’s multijurisdictional capital and liquidity reporting requirements throughout Denmark, Switzerland and UK, with plans to expand into the Netherlands.

Executive Moves

ComplySci appoints CTO, CPO, and CLO to further regtech’s product expansion

ComplySci offers compliance software used by more than 1400 global institutions to identify risk and address regulatory compliance challenges.

Digital Assets

Thailand closer to launch digital asset exchange “to serve the needs of younger generations”

TDX is a subsidiary of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and its incorporation is part of the group’s strategic position to connect capital markets, open opportunities for the business sector in raising funds and cater to investment demand of new generations.

Digital Assets

Russia to legalize cryptocurrency payments as sanctions bite

Russia could soon be the latest country to lay down ground rules for legalizing cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, a sign that governments around the world are realizing that digital assets are here to stay.

Institutional FX

XTX Markets UK reports lackluster results for 2021

The UK business of XTX Markets, a non-bank FX liquidity provider and market maker, has reported its financials for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021. The report showed impressive metrics after seeing revenues and customer activity increase even as the pandemic trading boom fizzled out.

Digital Assets

Binance in talks with BaFin to get license in Germany

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance has confirmed that they are in talks with Germany’s regulators to secure a local crypto license.

<