Court postpones bid to have MTI declared a Ponzi scheme after flood of late filings

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  • A bid to have collapsed bitcoin trading platform Mirror Trading International declared a Ponzi scheme has been postponed. 
  • A Western Cape High Court judge said she wouldn't have time to consider a deluge of late court filings before the case started. 
  • MTI collapsed in late 2020 after it stopped payouts to its tens of thousands of members. 

The Western Cape High Court has postponed an application to have disgraced bitcoin trading platform Mirror Trading International declared a Ponzi scheme. 

The court was set to hear two days of evidence this week around whether or not the site, which collapsed in late 2020, was a fraudulent pyramid scheme.  

The platform's liquidators want the platform to be declared a Ponzi scheme, saying this would broaden their powers to help them track down the missing bitcoin that flowed through the site. 

Their application is being opposed by several parties, including Clynton Marks, who claims to be a 50% shareholder of MTI. The platform's founder and CEO, Johann Steynberg, was arrested in Brazil late last year. He has not yet been extradited to South Africa.

'Raining papers' 

Some 20 lawyers, representing five different parties, thronged the court this week to argue for or against postponement.  

While the liquidators said they were ready to argue the case, presiding Judge Alma de Wet said she could not be expected to review a flood of late court filings in time.

De Wet said it had been "raining papers," some of which were hundreds of pages long.  

The Ponzi application was then postponed to 29 April.

In a statement issued after the case was postponed, the MTI liquidators said there had "no doubt" that the late filings were meant to place the court in an "impossible position".

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