An alleged UK-registered multimillion dollar pyramid scheme has been wound up, after a media expose.
Following an investigation earlier this year, Reuters revealed how EuroFX allegedly scammed thousands of investors in Asia, the bulk of whom were based in China.
Subsequently, Euro Forex Investment Limited - the registered name for EuroFX – which listed addresses in London's Heron Tower and Mayfair at one point, has been wound up, according to documents filed with the companies' registrar.
Liquidator Grant Thornton confirmed on Tuesday (8 August), it is taking steps to seek out any recoverable assets and distribute them to creditors.
Nearly 40 Chinese investors interviewed by Reuters say they first heard of EuroFX in June 2012. The company printed full-colour brochures in Mandarin and Cantonese for circulation in China which predicted enticing returns.
One pamphlet claimed that for an investment of $10,000, investors could expect a return of 6% a month. For $100,000, that climbed to 12%. A separate EuroFX product offered up to 16% to anyone who invested $250,000. The brochures claimed that EuroFX had "13 years' experience" in foreign exchange trading.
Many EuroFX investors told Reuters they put money in the company because it was registered in the UK, assuming it was regulated by the country's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or its predecessor watchdog.
However, the FCA does not regulate UK-registered firms that operate outside the European Union, according to the watchdog's website.
It has also emerged that the Metropolitan Police did receive complaints about EuroFX from ActionFraud; the UK's national reporting centre for fraud. However, given the scope and area of EuroFX's operation, the Met decided the case was outside their jurisdiction.
Furthermore, EuroFX was on the companies' register as a firm providing "business support" and not financial services.
The liquidation, revealed on Tuesday, follows a petition to the courts by a creditor named Sun Yao, according to Reuters.
A spokesperson for liquidators Grant Thornton said: "We are currently working to establish the remaining value of any recoverable assets associated with the company, and will be launching a portal for creditors to register their claims shortly."
Sun Yao is being represented by law firm Dentons, which is yet to comment on the matter owing to ongoing legal proceedings.
Earlier this year, prosecutors in Anshan, northern China, dropped an investigation into David Byrne, 52, the British chief executive officer of EuroFX, and allowed him to leave the country, 12 months after he was apprehended in a "citizen's arrest by an investor."
Subsequently, Byrne has denied responsibility, claiming he too was a "victim of fraud" and had only been hired as a "consultant" and not the CEO.