With the memory of the bankrupt Ukrainian brokerage MMCIS still fresh, there could be a new scandal brewing on the Russian retail foreign exchange market. The group of companies behind brand Forex Trend and Panteon Finance brands have come out in the past couple of days with some worrying and somewhat familiar statements.
The latter brokerage, Panteon Finance, has shocked its clients with the release of a statement revealing the details behind an alleged wrongdoing by an employee of the company. A substantial amount of client funds went missing due to the actions of the unnamed head of finance of the firm.
As it turns out, these “solid partners” are New Zealand incorporated brokerage Forex Trend, an associated company claiming that it deals with investments in contemporary art, Arts Trend, and information partner MMGP (Money Maker Group).
A couple of days ago, Panteon began accepting client withdrawal requests of clients whose accounts were already audited. In the meantime, all of the clients who passed the process had to resend their withdrawal requests.
The legal department of Forex Trend stated, “The company has not expected such an amount of withdrawal requests. Our employees are working between 18 and 20 hours per day.”
The statement issued by the company not only didn’t calm the panic down, but reinforced the desire of clients to get their funds out safe. Statements made by the company such as, “currently all of the departments of the company are doing everything possible for the normalization of the process”, could lead to further panic.
The statement issued by the legal department of the company Forex Trend yesterday, closely resembles one issued last year by MMCIS. The firm explained, “Withdrawal requests are currently being processed and funds will be payed on a first in first out basis subject to the technical capabilities of the company.
The company has not expected such an increase in withdrawal requests within a short period of time. We should be done processing the requests by the end of February.”
Sounds familiar? – Let us show you an excerpt from the statement of the President of the MMCIS, “The anti-crisis management team of MMCIS decided to cancel all withdrawal requests in process, which haven’t been cleared for transfer yet by the relevant department. Clients will not be able to file more than one withdrawal request per week, while the management of the firm works on accelerating the verification process necessary to process withdrawals of out clients.”
Konstantin Kondakov about Forex Trend and Panteon Finance, “Consider Them Closed”
Remembering MMCIS, the former face of the firm commented on the current events on his social media page saying, “The story with Forex Trend and Pantheon Finance is clear – consider them closed. This is the law of harmony – whatever you send to others, you get yourself.”
“They openly discredited MMCIS and got a retaliation in response. This is a great example that people should spread between themselves love, kindness and build instead of destroying,” Kondakov passionately concluded.
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The similarities between MMCIS and Panteon are numerous – both introduced a delay for the withdrawal process – one was called “verification” the other “audit”. At MMCIS the dialogue with clients was led by appointed anti-crisis director Roman Komysa, while at Panteon it was Ivan Rumyantsev, presented as Head of Customer Relations.
If the abovementioned Kondakov had withdrawn his support for MMCIS early on, the company Arts Trend would have immediately highlighted its independence from Panteon Finance. The firm stated in the announcement, “We are cooperating with since April 2014. The shares of our company have been offered through the platform of Panteon Finance. Currenlty our partner is experiencing some difficulties related to one of its employees tapping not client finds, Arts Trend is ready to buy back all of the shares from its shareholders at the issue price.”
The Name of the Fraudster Remains a Secret in a Familiar “He Said, She Said” Situation
As Forex Magnates reported, the Panteon Finance fraud was allegedly conducted by a single person. His identity still hasn’t been disclosed on the account that “competitors of the company could hire him to discredit the firm.”
Sounds quite familiar to the MMCIS case, when in September 2014, “badmouthing by competing companies has led to numerous withdrawal requests,” at the time the Ukrainian brokerage claimed “Forex Trend” as one of the main perpetrators.
At the time, Forex Trend Business Development Manager, Alexandr Topchiy, said, “Regarding some claims about our company, I can say that in August 2014, an information attack against our firm has been started. We have identified that the source of these attacks has been MMCIS.”
Both companies have been major competitors on the Ukrainian market, suing aggressive advertising strategies and dedicating substantial budgets for active involvement of several popular figures in their commercials.
More Questions, Less Answers
As current experience shows, a crisis scenario is in place only after the payment systems of the brokerage stop handling the tasks at hand. After the companies shut them down, all withdrawals will be suspended. The same way MMCIS blamed the company “Dengi Online” for stealing client funds.
During the past couple of days, some forum postings are discussing the issues of withdrawing funds from Forex Trend. Clients of the company are demanding an explanation from management and contemplating to organize a conference about the current issues. One of the participants in the forum says that the payment system OnlyMoney had not been operating since December.
Again, a similar experience for clients of Panteon and MMCIS.
The original text of this article was published on Forex Magnates Russia by Vadim Sviderski, the article was translated to English by Victor Golovtchenko