The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) issued a cease and desist order Tuesday against ‘TradeGo Forex Exchange’ and three individuals involved in a phony FX trading scheme.
Texas Securities Commissioner ordered TradeGo to shut down operations on charges that its principals, Ronald Ameral, David Nielson, and Brandon Newbern, defrauded people by soliciting unauthorised investments.
In its charge sheet, TSSB alleges that TradeGo Forex Exchange is operating under various names, such as Tradego Forex Global Wealth Group and Forex Global Wealth Group.
Ameral, who also goes by various aliases such as Greg Ronald, advertised on the craigslist.org site for touting profitability of a trading program tied to forex, commodities and stocks. The fraudulent scheme pooled money from investors through bank accounts personally owned by Ameral and Newbern.
Their most recent craigslist ad claims that FX is a low-risk trading, also falsely promising that with a minimum investment, potential clients could reap a 500% profit in just one day.
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According to a non-appealable cease and desist order, the Texan regulator also investigated compliance with the registration requirements of the federal securities laws. The order further states that the operatives of TradeGo Forex Exchange are not registered with the federal or state regulators as dealers. Therefore, they are engaged in fraud in connection with the sale of the securities to Texans.
Texas Shuts Down 15 Brands
The news comes shortly after TSSB ordered 15 FX, binary options and cryptocurrency brands to cease operations immediately, alleging that the investment fraudsters are basically operating double-your money scams.
Last week, ten brands were named in the first order: Proactive Expert Trading, Reliable Miners, BitcoinFX Options, Sure Trade Earnings, CryptoTradeFXWay, Proactive ExpertTrade, ReliableFX Internal Trade, MaxFX Internal Trade, AntPoolTop Mining and ExpertTrades247.
Additionally, a second emergency action names three online platforms that the regulator says were soliciting investments in FX and crypto trading schemes. Binary Trade Forex, FX Trades and IQTrade brands were accused of falsely claiming a Texan authorisation, as well as promoting too-good-to-be true cashflow for their investments, with a 100% written money-back guarantee.
While Bitcoin has seen a significant resurgence, it was also the year where scams and fraudulent operations proliferated. However, authorities have also grown in their ability to crack these operations and crackdown against them.
Crypto, Forex, Binary
In the latest sweeping action, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) has announced charges against 15 fraudulent schemes advertising false investments, according to an official press release.
The agency confirmed that it had sent out at least three cease-and-desist orders targeting companies that sell fake crypto, forex, and binary options investments.
In the TSSB’s first order, it identified ten investment platforms linked to one James Blundell. The fraudster allegedly used the companies to attract investors with the promise of returns in just a matter of hours.
The Texas resident also reportedly promoted his scams on social media accounts, positioning himself as a thought leader in the investment world. He additionally advertised an official trading license from Texas State, although TSSB confirmed that he had no such thing.
The second order accuses three firms – FX Trades, IQTrade, and Binary Trade Forex – which operate from Valentine, Texas.
Like Blundell’s firms, the companies solicited funds from investors in exchange for lucrative returns on forex, cryptocurrencies, and binary options investments. They got fake testimonials to add to their credibility, luring investors with attractive rates.
Also, like Blundell, the firms used fake registration claims. They touted themselves as “e-gaming” firms registered by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Company. However, the TSSB disclosed that they had not registered to sell securities in the state.
As for the third order, the TSSB nailed GeniusPlanFxPro, a crypto and forex trading company that claimed to be from Austin. Along with claiming regulation with the TSSB, the firm also added that it had registered with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Dealing With Fraudsters All Year
The TSSB has been one of the United States’ most active regulators this year concerning cracking down against fraudsters. Along with these new firms, the agency already has its plate filled with Angus Jerrard, a South African resident who started three “double your money” businesses.
In a press release from August, the TSSB alleged that Jerrard ran three firms — Liquidity Gold Trust, Liquidity Gold Solution LLC, and Liquidity Global Card Solution (PTY) LTD. The firms had run illegal ads on a radio station in Austin, promoting the Liquidity Card – a self-proclaimed crypto MasterCard that works with stablecoins.
The fraudster and his company also claimed that they worked with several top stablecoins, including PAX and TrueUSD. Touting the credit card, the companies claimed that holders would get profits and spend them. They added that the card would help investors avoid the taxes they would otherwise pay when converting their cryptocurrencies to fiat.
Along with the card, the Liquidity Group also sold a multilevel marketing scheme to investors.
As the TSSB claimed, the firm hired marketed to promote their products. One of their most recent ads even claimed that investors could get a “portion” of the crypto project for $1,150. Buyers would get residual income from fees paid by Liquidity Card holders, and they could get up to $1,152 in returns after 18 months.