$1 830 000 USD

AUGUST 2019

AUSTRALIA

EXMOUNT HOLDINGS

DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS

"Stock market talk is everywhere, from TV and radio, to the newspapers and the web. But what does it mean when people say that "the market turned in a great performance today?"" "Commodities Markets, Both Historically And In Modern Times, Have Had Tremendous Economic Impact On Nations And People." "Our Forex program is designed to function without the presence of the trader."

 

"To The Newspapers And The Web. But What Does It Mean When People Say That "The Market Turned In A Great Performance Today?" What Is "The Market" Anyway? As It Turns Out, When Most People Talk About "The Market," They Are Actually Referring To An Index. With The Growing Importance Of The Stock Market In Our Society, The Names Of Indexes Such As The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), S&P500; And Nasdaq Composite Have Become Part Of Our Everyday Vocabulary. An Index Is A Statistical Measure Of The Changes In A Portfolio Of Stocks Representing A Portion Of The Overall Market. It Would Be Too Difficult To Track Every Single Security Trading In The Country."

 

"We Know That There Are Various Types Of Investments Around The World, They All Have Their Positives And Negatives. When Certain Types Of Investments May Be Going Well, The Others May Not Be Doing So Well And This Is Why Exmount Holdings Has Formulated A Synergy Between Various Types Of Investments That Can Benefit Any Type Of Investor. We Have Created Fully Automated Professional Trading Software, Which Is Extremely User Friendly.EXMOUNT Forex Trading Software Is A Computer Program That Analyzes Currency Price Charts And Other Market Activity. The Software Identifies The Signals - Including Spread Discrepancies, Price Trends And News That May Impact The Market - To Locate Potentially Profitable Currency Pair Trades."

 

"Established In 2012, We Are Industry Leaders In Managing Our Clients Funds And Obtaining The Best Deals For Each And Every ICO (Initial Coin Offering) We Are Involved With. With A Professional And Responsible Team, We Will Make This Program Robust And Flexible That Will Drive More Profit To Small And Big Time Investors."

 

"We Bring With Us A Core Group Of Managers And Highly Skilled Traders In The Bitcoin Market. Keeping That In Mind, We Strive To Make This Investment Program A Great Experience For You. We Appreciate The Trust That You Have Placed In Us. We Appreciate Our Client Feedback And Want All The Information We Can To Make This As Easy An Experience For Our Clients As Possible."

 

"We Utilize Cumulative Pools Of Investor Funds To Obtain The Best Rates We Can In The Cryptocurrency Market Allowing Small Investors The Same Opportunities As Corporate Players. We Will Dramatically Change Your Investment Future. Invest With Us Today!"

 

"[B]etween 2017 and May 2019", many Australians "were contacted regarding investing in Exmount Holdings Group, a legitimate-appearing company with a website, call centre and sales staff." "One of the company names they used was Exmount Holdings Group, which reportedly had a website and a call center with sales staff and over 1,300 telephone numbers."

 

"The victims were asked to make a trial investment in the company and given unique login ids and passwords as well." Registrants "were offered a trial investment, with the promise of generous returns once they had invested more funds. Victims were provided unique log-in details for the website, where they could watch their initial investment grow over the trial period."

 

"Victims were asked to make further investments into the venture if they wanted to see more spectacular returns."

 

"According to a recent report by Coindesk, the individuals behind the cryptocurrency scheme went to great lengths to appear legitimate." "But the investments started looking fishy when the victims realised they couldn't withdraw their funds. Worse yet — they couldn't even contact the company with their issue." "According to the police, workers at the call center were unaware that they were being made to work towards the fraud."

 

“When those victims attempted to withdraw their capital, they could not. The money had gone, and any attempt to contact the businesses involved and their staff came to naught,” said the police.

 

“Their money had gone and any attempt they made to contact one of the companies or their staff was unsuccessful,” Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence said in the statement.

 

“We ask the community to remain resilient against this type of offending. Always be wary of and maintain control of your finances," Lawrence said.

 

“Ask yourself if you are in control of these transactions, be wary of any unsolicited telephone calls or emails offering investment opportunities and seek independent advice from friends, family or financial advisors.”

 

"According to a statement released by Queensland Police, the dozens of Australians, most of whom are senior citizens, lost approximately AUD $2.7 million (USD $1.83 million) to the scam. The hardest-hit victim lost AUD $850,000 (USD $575,600) in the fraudulent scheme, almost a third of the entire sum."

 

"Senior citizens made up a large portion of the victims and detectives said the scam had "ruined a lot of lives" and would make retirement hard for many people who had invested money from their superannuation funds."

 

"Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group swooped on the syndicate comprised of three men and two women as part of Operation Quebec Walnut in May and August [of 2019]."

 

"Detectives from the Queensland Police's Financial and Cyber Crime Group investigated an alleged criminal syndicate which handled several businesses selling cryptocurrency investments on the Gold Coast between 2017 and May 2019." "Police said other companies and websites attached to this scam included Exmount Holdings Ltd, The Quid Pro Quo Foundation, The Atlas Group, AFG Associates Pty Ltd, tradex123, exmounttrading, atlasfxgroup and amazonqus." "Owners of those companies remain persons of interest to police."

 

"Police said three men and two women, part of a criminal syndicate behind cryptocurrency investment businesses, have been charged over the scam, which ran from 2017 until May 2019." "Detectives conducted several search warrants and later charged three men aged 56, 44 and 33 and two women aged 28 and 21 from the Gold Coast with fraud and money laundering."

 

"Tegan Marie Pohoikura Gilmore, 28, was remanded in custody in Southport Magistrates Court on Friday [August 9th,] charged with fraud and money laundering while four others [were] yet to face court." "Gilmore did not apply for bail and was remanded to reappear on August 16." "The five individuals are facing fraud and money laundering charges. One of the men was also charged with two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle. They [were] all scheduled to appear separately before the Southport Magistrates Court on August 9, August 22, and November 5."

 

"The major fraud charge carries up to 20 years' imprisonment and if the organised crime allegation can also be proven in court, the penalty for the five accused could be increased."

 

"Laurence said that although the arrests were a “significant” step forward, Queensland Police was continuing to conduct enquiries." "Detective Sergeant Kris Steadman said the five accused were "key figures" in the alleged criminal syndicate, which was set up as a legitimate business and employed call centre workers, who police believe did not realise they were involved in alleged criminal activity. Police will also visit those people who were associated with the ABN registrations and company bank accounts."

 

"Sergeant Steadman said some victims had referred friends to the investment scheme and they too lost money. Only $30,000 has been recovered by authorities."

 

"Investigators fear the $2.7 million figure is "at the bottom end" of the scale and believe there are more victims because the alleged scammers also used websites to broaden their reach." "ACCC Deputy Chair, Delia" "Rickard said the true amount of money lost was probably much higher, with many reluctant to report a loss to a scammer." "While the five have been charged, Queensland Police is still continuing its investigations to find anyone else who may have fallen victim to the same."

Exmount Holdings claimed to be a large investment brokerage, complete with a large website, physical address, and call center support. Many Australians were contacted by phone to invest, with investigators estimating the level of investment to far exceed $2.7m. Most of those affected were reportedly senior, and while news media prominently called this a cryptocurrency scam, the websites mostly mentioned other types of investments. While investigators have made arrests of 5 individuals who are alleged to be involved, and it is reported that only $30,000 has been recovered for victims.

HOW COULD THIS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED?

Exmount Holdings was entirely fraudulent. Consumers can avoid such a scheme by discussing investment decisions with others who they trust and not making rushed investment decisions. Regulators have provided websites where you can search up registered firms, however it's important to also ensure that you are dealing with that firm directly and not a scammer pretending to be them. Greater education is clearly needed.

 

This operation depended on a call center and website hosting provider, which were not shut down for multiple years. It also appears that both the perpetrators and victims were living in Australia. Consumers should be educated on how to gain more information about the fraud if they encounter one, before filing a proper report. It's not clear why the operation was able to continue for so long.

 

As funds may already be spent by the time the investigation is complete, the only structure able to resolve notable losses in cases like this may be an industry effort such as an insurance fund. That could have the ability to provide some relief for those affected, in exchange for them sharing their story transparently, and bringing those involved to justice. Under the industry insurance fund model, all claims are subject to full public scrutiny and the level of relief is discretionary. Providing relief to verified fraud victims will encourage others to come forward and report similar fraud cases.

 

Check Our Framework For Safe Secure Exchange Platforms

Sources And Further Reading

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