The receivers of fictitious New Zealand finance company, Arena Capital, today moved into liquidation mode after releasing a report confirming claims that the company has been cheating investors.
The Christchurch-based company was set up in 2014, presenting itself to unsuspecting investors as an FX broker, trading under the name BlackfortFX. The company then proceeded to scam up to 1,100 individual clients, soliciting up to $9 million on the promise that clients would receive a profit from FX trading undertaken by Arena, through a Swiss trading entity.
The Swiss trading entity, Dukascopy Bank, has subsequently denied having any knowledge of or dealings with the dodgy kiwi broker. Indeed, the receivers claim to have found no evidence that any trading actually took place.
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The liquidators, KordaMentha, have also revealed that the company’s bank account is left with just $730,000 of the $9 million. In addition to client deposits, liabilities include unpaid wages and payroll tax.
The liquidators are pursuing individuals to whom Arena made payments, and have seized all other assets, including a number of luxury cars.
The story comes after the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), the country’s financial watchdog, removed a number of FX brokers from the Financial Services Provider Register (FSPR) following unscrupulous behavior. Liam Mason, FMA General Counsel, described these firms as “taking advantage of New Zealand’s good reputation for being a well-regulated jurisdiction and a good place to do business.”