Giambrone & Partners was delighted to obtain the restoration of our client's funds in the sum of £37,000 in a complex case involving a fraudulent investment broker and two cryptocurrency trading platforms.
Our client turned to Giambrone & Partners for strategic advice when they recognised that they had been defrauded. Our client was inexperienced in the investment markets and traded with Unix, a firm that purports to be based in Liverpool but is actually based in the Marshall Islands for regulatory purposes and is actually trading illegally. Unix is the subject of a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warning, stating that the firm is unauthorised and therefore does not fall under the provisions of the FCA safety net should an investor believe that they have been subject to a fraud.
Our client was asked by Unix to make payments in bitcoin, in order to facilitate the payments our client opened accounts with Binance and Bitcoin UK enabling a considerable amount in funds to be transferred to the fraudulent investment broker and thereby lost to our client.
Led by Demetri Bezaintes, an associate in the banking and financial fraud litigation department, the team was able to uncover a range of breaches relating to duty-of-care and highlighted a number of serious inadequacies in their regulatory responsibilities relating to the intermediary cryptocurrency platforms, Binance and Bitcoin UK.
Demetri Bezaintes commented "the regulatory structure in place to protect novice investors was flagrantly breached by all parties. The imposition of Know Your Client (KYC) procedures is aimed at ensuring that the unwary investor that lacks the appropriate knowledge of the markets is not coerced or deceived into trading by unregulated fraudsters, ultimately resulting in the loss of their funds" Demetri further pointed out "Binance has also been the subject of a robust FCA warning. The FCA is making renewed attempts to monitor and control cryptocurrency exchanges largely due to the ease that money laundering regulations can be breached leading to a greater preponderance of criminal activities."
Demetri's carefully crafted legal argument, demonstrating that had the correct regulatory protocols been implemented our client would have been adequately protected, resulted in the return of £37,000 to our client.
Giambrone & Partners' banking and financial fraud litigation team strongly advise any would-be investor to make their own background checks on any broker or financial platform that they are planning to engage with. The FCA has watch lists and warning lists that can be accessed. Investors should not be bounced into taking up investment "opportunities" by the suggestion that they are time-limited "once in a lifetime" opportunities to get-rich-quick; nor should they simply accept assertions on the trading platform website that they are regulated. Undertaking a thorough due diligence exercise through the regulatory bodies before actually beginning to make an investment is essential and time well spent.
Giambrone's banking and financial fraud litigation team has a well-deserved position as a leading law firm in the recovery of funds lost in investment fraud.
Our team is tenacious in its approach, recognising that often a dogged long-haul approach is often the only route to success. Our lawyers have developed innovative novel strategies to regain our clients' money, matching the tactics of the fraudsters in their attempts to avoid justice and the restoration of their victims lost money.
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