Selzer Law's Response to Carte Blanche on Behalf of the Marks

17 January 2021
You can read the full responses from Cheri and Clynton Marks' lawyers below.
Mirror Trading International


We represent Clynton and Cheri Marks.

Your request for a response to certain questions have been handed to us for attention and reply. Based on our instructions the responses to your questions are set out below. For the sake of convenience we quote your questions :-

  1. Cheri: Conclusions drawn from watching the story may lead a reasonable viewer to conclude MTI may be one of the following: a scam, fraud, pyramid scheme, Ponzi scheme, illegal MLM, multiplication scheme etc. For balance, we have included the essence of MTIs denials and explanation from yourself in the "Is MTI a scam" video from Youtube, do you stand by this version or do you wish to add anything?

Cheri furthered the business of MTI based on her knowledge of the day to day activities of MTI as gleaned from live trades, trade statements dating as far back as 2019, members and traders verifying the trades. She only discovered upon reading the FSCA press release of 17th December 2020 that the authenticity of the trades were questioned.

  1. Clynton: Conclusions drawn from watching the story may lead a reasonable viewer to conclude MTI may be one of the following: a scam, fraud, pyramid scheme, Ponzi scheme, illegal MLM, multiplication scheme etc. For balance, we have included the essence of MTIs denials and explanation from Cheri Marks in the "Is MTI a scam" video from Youtube, do you stand by this version or do you wish to add anything?

Clynton was not a director of the business and not part of the technical team that ran operations. He invested in the business and truly believed it to be a regulated trading business hence why he encouraged members to invest.

  1. MTI claimed to do live trades as well as have an AI bot that conducted these trades - do you stand by this version or do you wish to add anything? There are claims made that trades allegedly never occurred (both while MTI used the services of a regulated trader from Belize, and with the current unregulated trader Trade300), and that no bot allegedly exists (despite the video/images shown by MTI of live trades, these videos are alleged to be a fraud and in fact MTI lost money when it tried to trade).

Johann Steynberg was in control of MTI as an owner, CEO and head of the technical department. Neither Clynton nor Cheri had anything to do with the trading. They never professed to be traders. This is corroborated by the investigation of the FSCA which confiscated their electronic devices.

  1. The maths shows that at the rate MTI was growing, it would quickly own every Bitcoin in existence as only 21 million will ever be made (currently there are around 18.6 million). How can such a scheme ever be sustainable?

This question was posed to Steynberg on numerous occasions by multiple persons and his response was that he was working on incorporating other crypto currencies and other trading bots and that MTI was a fluid business that would keep abreast of the changing crypto market.

  1. Warnings from several financial regulators claim MTI may be a fraud. Your response?

The authenticity of the trades was never suspected by our clients and therefore they deny having misled anyone. Our clients were also investors in the business and Cheri was employed by MTI. A lot of faith was placed in Steynberg and his vision and so did the members, many of which he met and who trusted him just like Clynton and Cheri did.

  1. Currently, for balance we have included your responses to both the MTIleaks/ Anonymous hack as well as your response to the raid that in essence "everything is fine" in after both incidences, do you wish to add anything further?

Save that the so-called leak was criminally obtained, it was a non-issue because Cheri had always been transparent about her journey in this industry and in MTI specifically. Cheri was incensed by the FSCA raid because it was unexpected and very invasive. However, the clients had nothing to hide. Steynberg defended the position of MTI in recorded and documented meetings on social media and therefor Clynton and Cheri did not oppose the search and seizure warrants – they believed in MTI and had no reason to believe it was improperly operated.

  1. Some claim Johann Steynberg is a fall guy and that Clynton Marks and Cheri Ward/Marks are the true masterminds behind the scam. For balance, we do have you saying you had no knowledge of this and that Johann Steynberg has lied to you as well. Would like to add anything further?

This is simply not true. Steynberg developed the MTI model and systems. He controlled the bitcoin, broker interface and the servers. All employees and heads of department followed the procedures of the system developed by Steynberg. More than 75% of all bitcoin deposited into MTI originated from Steynberg’s efforts. He had full and uninterrupted control of MTI, he created the logos, first presentations and build the structure to place members for the referral program. It is denied that Clynton and Cheri masterminded MTI because it is simply not true and extremely defamatory of our clients.

  1. Some allege that MTI's downfall is similar to a previous crypto company called BTC global, where the person ran off with everyone's money. Some question if that person ever existed. But Clynton Marks, Cheri Ward/Marks and Johann Steynberg were all members of this crypto scam, and some draw parallels between BTC global and MTI. A reasonable viewer may conclude that you are all serial scammers. Your response?

These rumours emanate from social media campaigns by disgruntled investors. In short the social media posts should be seen by a reasonable viewer for what they are - baseless allegations. For example Steynberg was never involved in BTC Global although he did, like many networkers, come from a list of network marketing companies, some legitimate, some later proved to be scams. The two opportunities were completely different and trying to draw similarities is a stretch. Steven Twain is a real person and his disappearance was a shock. It was Cheri’s first crypto related business and she was admittedly naïve at the time. It is denied that Cheri was/is Steven Twain. In January 2018 before BTC Global stopped operating, the bitcoin price fell dramatically and there was a well-documented market crash. It is suspected that this led to its demise. Cheri was linked to BTC Global in the public domain and that destroyed her reputation in the industry. She decided to pursue a conventional business like MTI which had a visible and present CEO and where one could witness actual trades. BTC Global and MTI are thus erroneously being linked.

  1. Added question for Clynton: There are allegations that you are a serial scammer, and your initial investment which made you a 50% shareholder of MTI was from ill-gotten gains? Some allege the bitcoin you invested into MTI is from the BTC Global scam. Otherwise please account for where this money came from. Cheri marks claims you have invested 500 bitcoin into MTI.

It is denied that Clynton invested 500 bitcoin into MTI. Clynton has traded outside of MTI for a number of years. He did make a good profit from trading in bitcoin especially because the bitcoin price had increased so considerably in the last few years. Other than that Clynton traded in various other cryptos in the last couple of years. Clynton did not buy into MTI with bitcoin. His expertise was to build a data base of investors for MTI. He invested in MTI from time to time and he deposited bitcoin with MTI and made withdrawals as did all members.

  1. By your own admission Trader300 has been shown through email to be Johann Steynberg, and Camilla is a fictious person/ smoke screen. Do you stand by Cheri Ward/Marks claim to have no knowledge and do you wish to add anything? For balance, we do show your response from a zoom meeting video dated 22 December 2020.

The press release from the FSCA was the first knowledge our clients received that Trade300 was fabricated. Before this Cheri had seen communications between Johann and Camilla. She had no reason before the press release to doubt Steynberg or Trade300.

  1. As a couple there are allegations that you've used the MTI investors money (ill gotten gains) to buy expensive cars, and documents reveal that you live in a R11.5 million home in Monteith Estate, Durban (although it belongs to a company which belongs to a Don Nkomo, he is a well-known friend of yours and is alleged to be a front in order to avoid your connection to this house.) Your response?

There is nothing sinister in residing in a home owned by a friend. Our clients relocated to this particular home to be close to the children’s public school. Cheri owns a Jeep – hardly in line with the extravagant lifestyle some social media posts would like people to believe. This is deliberately spread to manipulate angry and upset members to direct their grievances at someone other than Steynberg. Our clients are being threatened daily by investors and although it is understandable why investors are upset, they are used as the “scapegoats” because they did not go into hiding. For the record any funds utilized by our clients are proceeds from trading done outside of MTI.

  1. During the MTI Leak a separate pool of funds called the "founders pool" was found, and allegedly used to gain more money from MTI investors without disclosing this, there was also numerous upline persons including yourselves who appear to have multiple accounts. Your response?

There are more than 50 founders in MTI. These were simply people that invested $10,000 worth of bitcoin with Steynberg with the start up of MTI. 10% of the profit share that MTI made was proportionately divided between all of these founders. The members were all aware of this arrangement. Cheri did not have multiple founder accounts. The only income stream affected by multiple accounts are referral bonuses and this does not affect MTI but rather the person that signed up the member. MTI still had to pay the referral fee either way. Having more than one account meant more than one team to grow and support and that was mainly why it was not encouraged.

  1. A leaked video dated 22 December 2020 of a Zoom call between many MTI leaders and management, including yourselves, appears to show you all conspiring to kidnap Johann Steynberg and return him to South Africa by duping Nerina Steynberg into signing over control of silver belonging to her and Johann. Did you find him? How do you respond to the allegations?

These allegations are strenuously denied. Our clients, like all investors are trying to find the whereabouts of Steynberg to answer the fallout of MTI.

  1. On various occasions you stated that you were either investigating the identity of Anonymous ZA or knew the identity of Anonymous ZA, and either were pursuing criminal charges or had laid criminal charges. Did you discover the identity of Anonymous? Did you lay criminal charges? (If so, can you provide the case number and station where the charges were laid?)

Cheri was sent information about Anonymous ZAs identity by Steynberg himself and she acted on his instructions as employee of MTI. However, Steynberg is an accomplished programmer and developer, which is how he built MTI. He was meant to lay the charges as he is the CEO of MTI.

  1. You claimed to have seen live trades and other incontrovertible proof being provided to the FSCA that MTI was legitimately trading. What did you see in those meetings with the FSCA that convinced you there was a really a bot? (This is perhaps an expansion on question 3.)

Cheri witnessed Steynberg log into his Trade300 account. He opened live trades while next to her and invited the lead investigator to verify the trade. The investigator called another FSCA representative to look at the trades too and then confirmed it was CFD trading. Cheri did not have enough trading knowledge to confirm or deny that as she was not employed as a trader or technical person for MTI. Cheri also saw the correspondence between Steynberg and Trade300 to answer the requests sent by the FSCA, trade statements, transaction ID codes and balance confirmations. She had no reason to believe the trades were fictitious.

  1. We trust this answers your queries.
  2. Our omission to deal with any allegation at this stage should not be construed as an admission of such allegation and our clients reserve the right to respond more fully at a later stage to the allegations made.
  1. Our client’s rights are fully reserved.

Yours faithfully

[Transmitted electronically without signature]