Court grants final sequestration order for missing MTI CEO's estate

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MTI collapsed in December last year after it stopped paying out funds to members.
MTI collapsed in December last year after it stopped paying out funds to members.
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  • The estate of missing Mirror Trading International CEO Johann Steynberg has been placed into final sequestration by an order of the Polokwane High Court.
  • MTI sold itself as an innovative bitcoin trading platform, promising lavish returns to thousands of investors before collapsing in December last year. 
  • Steynberg has been missing for six months. 

The estate of missing Mirror Trading International (MTI) CEO Johann Steynberg has been placed into final sequestration by an order of the Polokwane High Court. 

The ruling was handed down on Tuesday, some three weeks after MTI was liquidated by an order of the Western Cape High Court.

The sequestration ruling was confirmed by one of MTI's liquidators. 

MTI sold itself as an innovative bitcoin trading platform, promising lavish returns to its tens of thousands of investors. After growing in popularity during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, it imploded in December last year.

Shortly after it stopped paying out returns to members, Steynberg disappeared.

Steynberg has not been heard from since, and made no representations at the hearings to wind up MTI and his estate.  

His wife, Nerina Steynerg, told a pre-trial inquiry earlier this year that her husband would "never leave me, never leave his child".

"He is a good person," she said. "Someone must have done this to him."

Super intelligent AI 

Ahead of its collapse, MTI's leadership denied it was a Ponzi scheme, accusing its detractors of being "jealous" of its innovative trading, which they boasted included a "super intelligent" artificial intelligence bot.

Market regulator the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has accused Steynerg of repeatedly lying to it in meetings that took place before he went missing. In a report, the FSCA said it was likely that no trading ever took place.

The platform was named 2020's biggest global cryptocurrency investment scam by data firm Chainalysis.

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