The UK High Court has shut down the binary options broker Magnum Options which took a total of £750,000 from vulnerable people by selling the fixed-odds betting investments.
Two brands linked to a Bulgarian registered company called Hampshire Capital Ventures Limited have been placed in provisional liquidation and are now subject to High Court action, following an investigation by a branch of the Insolvency Service.
The UK authorities accused Hampshire Capital, and its successor Solaris Vision Ltd., of providing investment advice without a license, as well as aggravated fraud.
The Insolvency Service found that 41 complaints were made to the police regarding the fraudulent scheme with customers reporting losses of over £750,000, all of which allegedly occurred between February 2016 to March 2017.
The official statement says that Magnum Options and Magnum Options EU, using the websites www.magnumoptions.eu and latterly www.magnumoptions.com, adopted aggressive and persistent sales practices, making unsolicited calls to victims claiming that their binary options trading could yield up an 81% return per trade.
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The firm told investors they would receive guaranteed returns, but based on terms and conditions that, according to the filing, 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 did do so, no pay-outs were made,” the statement further states.
Magnum Options has been the subject of investor warnings by Canada’s Manitoba Securities Commission, Australia’s Securities and Securities Division of the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan.
“ASIC advises this company could be involved in a scam. Do not deal with this business as it is unlicensed in Australia,” reads the Australian warning according to the statement of the UK authorities.
In common with many of the binary options firms, Magnum Options promoted its business by viral internet marketing, giving the impression that they operated out of the UK, by referring to UK trading addresses on the websites.
Finally, the announcement states that Solaris Vision Ltd was placed into provisional liquidation to protect assets in the possession or under the control of the company pending the determination of the petitions.
Last week, binary options brokers blamed for investment scams that robbed British victims of more than £18 million in the first half of 2017 have been rounded up in a crackdown involving UK police.