Two U.S. states have issued emergency cease and desist orders to South African firms and a South African national promoting a cryptocurrency debit card scheme. The companies claim that the card is like a traditional Mastercard but the states say the scheme is fraudulent.
South African Firms Sanctioned by 2 US States
The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) and the Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) issued emergency cease and desist orders simultaneously to South African firms over a cryptocurrency credit card scheme to defraud investors in their states. The orders name Liquid Gold Trust, Liquidity Card Solution LLC, Liquidity Global Card Solution and Liquid Gold Trust CEO Lance Angus Jerrard.
According to the order, the defendants promote the Liquidity Card, which purportedly works with stablecoins: USD coin (USDC), Trueusd coin (TUSD), and PAX coin (PAX). However, the accused claim that “it is a Mastercard that functions like a traditional debit card.” They represent that “cardholders can use the Liquidity Card to receive and spend profits as stablecoins, avoiding taxes that would otherwise be recognized when converting cryptocurrencies to dollars or other fiat currency,” the Texas Securities Board explains, emphasizing:
The system only works, however, if the Liquidity companies can recruit new cardholders. They need money to recruit these cardholders.
“It supposedly launches in October 2020, with the goal of recruiting 8 million cardholders in 36 months,” the order further explains. “As part of the alleged scheme to fund the marketing campaign, the Liquidity companies are selling 8,400 ‘portions’ in their global project partnership. Each portion costs $1,150 and entitles purchasers to residual income derived from fees paid by cardholders.”
The order adds that the defendants claim that investors may receive $1,516.72 per portion per month after 18 months and $5,008.62 per month after 24 months. Furthermore, the profits are purportedly guaranteed. According to the order:
The Liquidity companies are even offering investors a 100% written money back guarantee.
However, the order shows that the companies are not providing information that shows they can actually repay investors that demand a return of funds.
“It’s also fraud,” the Texas Securities Board’s announcement reads. “The Liquidity companies are accused of concealing important information about their relationships, their contracts and their compensation.” In addition, the Board says, “They are also allegedly using stock photographs to depict their offices.”
None of the accused is also registered with the two states to sell securities and their investments are not registered or permitted in the states. The parties have 30 days to challenge the entry of the order.