South African firms face sanctions in 2 US states over alleged digital currency fraud

Securities regulators in the states of Texas and Alabama have ordered three South African digital currency firms to desist from targeting local residents in an alleged scam. The firms claim to offer a debit card that is pegged on stablecoins, with shares in the companies being touted to return up to 500% interest in just 24 months.

In a press release, the Texas State Securities Board revealed it had entered an emergency cease and desist order against the three firms—Liquidity Gold Solution LLC, Liquidity Gold Trust and Liquidity Global Card Solution (PTY) LTD.

According to the regulator, the three firms have been targeting residents of Austin by running ads on a local radio station. They have also been using online platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The three firms, all founded by Lance Angus Jerrard, have been promoting the Liquidity Card, a debit card they claim is issued by Mastercard. Unlike other debit cards, however, it works with stablecoins. According to their radio ads, the card reportedly supports the USD Coin, PAX Coin and TrueUSD.

The Liquidity companies’ alleged biggest selling point is their limited ownership ‘portions’ which they are selling to residents of Austin at $1,150. By buying a portion of the companies, an investor is reportedly entitled to residual income from the fees paid by the Liquidity Card holders. For each portion owned, an investor will earn $1,516.72 per month after 18 months and $5,008 monthly after 24 months.

The returns are guaranteed, the companies claimed, and investors are promised a 100% written money back guarantee.

However, according to the Texas regulator, it’s all a big scam.

The Liquidity companies have been concealing important information about their operations and compensation. “They are not providing material information about their use of money and they are not disclosing the significant risks associated with the business plan, according to the order,” the watchdog claims.

The companies have also been using stock photographs to depict their offices. According to their website, they are based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Additionally, the three companies are not registered to sell securities in Texas.

Joe Rotunda, the regulator’s director of enforcement cautioned Texans against being lured by scammers through promises of guaranteed returns. He stated, “The prospect of guaranteed monthly income may seem like a dream come true during times of economic uncertainty. Unfortunately, cryptocurrency scams typically fail to support promises of prosperity with facts and evidence. In the end, it’s often smoke and mirrors, with a technological twist.”

Just over a month ago, the Texas regulator shut down yet another South African digital currency-related venture that was targeting Texans. Known as Mirror Trading International, the firm claimed to be offering investment in a BTC and forex pool. However, the regulator revealed that it was just a multi-level marketing scheme.

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