Financial.org, an unregulated financial advisory firm, shut down operations. The British firm blocked and converted users funds to a cryptocurrency, FOIN. It was a lead sponsor-er of Formula F1 team Williams Martini Racing.
Financial.org was under regulatory oversight from eight nations – Britain, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, and the UAE. Reportedly, the firm primarily conducted its operations in Asia. In 2018, it converted users investments into FOIN cryptocurrency. The announcement was made on Facebook. While the crypto was assigned to investors last year, its withdrawal was blocked for a year.
CEO of Financialorg, Arnaud Georges said in notice during that time,
“These decisions made are final and non-reversible, Just wait for one short year to realize your massive profits.
Georges added, “unhappy investors/members have been rumored to be considering legal actions”, adding that “legal litigation will definitely take years with no assurance of success and you may lose the opportunity to cash out/realize your profits during the whole litigation period”.
The date for the withdrawal of the cryptocurrency was pushed until July 2019, 31. Reportedly, the firm has now ended all operations and shut down its website. There is no way to contact the firm as there is no ‘contact’ page or details available. Therefore, the apprehensions of the investors have come true.
The firm had set up offices in London and Abu Dhabi. Since 2018, the offices did not respond to any of the letters of inquiry from authorities. The deal with Williams was till 2018. Hence, while the firm had still blocked the investments, the sponsorship on F1 team continued to create a facade.
The cryptocurrency was even listed on CoinMarketCap following the data provided on their website – foin.io. The amount of the scam is unaccounted could be in hundreds of thousands or even more.
The police authorities have tried to get in touch with the offices in London’s Canary Wharf financial district and Abu Dhabi. However, the reception and facilities staff have said that they moved out a year ago.
Furthermore, while classified as a crypto scam, the company converted the funds into crypto without users consent. It wasn’t even the investors choice to invest in the crypto in the first place. The firm used cryptocurrency hype and Formula 1 to fool the investors for more than a year.
How much money do you think the firm would have scammed given its advert on an F1 car? Please share your views with us.
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Nivesh from Engineering Background is a full-time Crypto Analyst at Coingape. He is an atheist who believes in love and cultural diversity. He believes that Cryptocurrency is a necessity to deter corruption. He holds small amounts of cryptocurrencies. Faith and fear are two sides of the same coin. Follow him on Twitter at @nivishoes or mail him at nivesh(at)coingape.com