UK High Court winds up binary options firms behind Magnum Options

Maria Nikolova

Hampshire Capital, followed by Solaris Vision Ltd, operated using the trading names Magnum Options and Magnum Options EU.

The UK High Court has wound up binary options scam firms behind Magnum Options, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The official announcement by the UK authorities states that Hampshire Capital Ventures Limited (Hampshire Capital), and its successor, Solaris Vision Ltd, a Bulgarian registered company, registration number 204122391, were wound up by the High Court on October 18, 2017. Hampshire Capital, followed by Solaris Vision Ltd, operated using the brands Magnum Options and Magnum Options EU, via a trading platform, using the websites www.magnumoptions.eu and www.magnumoptions.com.

The websites, offering binary options trading, made numerous claims as to possible investment returns, with an 81% return rate per trade typically touted. There were 41 complaints made to the police against Magnum Options in the period February 2016 to March 2017, with customers reporting losses of more than £750,000.

Solaris Vision Ltd was placed into provisional liquidation by the High Court in London on 8 August 2017, on the application of the Insolvency Service, due to its concerns that the company were posing an ongoing risk to the public by operation of its fraudulent trading platform. The websites have become inaccessible since September 25, 2017.

The investigation into both companies found that they had attracted customers through aggressive internet marketing, offering guaranteed fixed returns. Customers were not made aware of terms and conditions at the point of sale. Those terms and conditions were deemed to be onerous and unfair on customers, requiring them to trade 30 or 40 times their account balances in order to make withdrawals. Even when some customers agreed to do so, no pay-outs were made. The requests for withdrawals or repayments were mainly met with silence from the companies, who were only contactable by email after the time customers signed up for trading.

Neither of the binary options firms cooperated with the investigation.

These companies targeted customers worldwide, giving the impression that they operated out of the UK, by referring to UK trading addresses on the websites. Those addresses turned out to be accommodation addresses, for which neither company were authorised to use.

Last week, the City of London Police conducted a day of action which consisted of visiting 20 offices with the City of London Corporation’s Trading Standards. In co-operation with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Police were able to gather intelligence on different types of investment fraud and, in particular, binary options fraud.

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