Tax Collector Wants $55 Million From MTI Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme Collapse – Liquidators Accused Of Failing To Do Their Duty

In a contemporary spin on the Mirror Buying and Selling Worldwide (MTI) saga of the collapsed bitcoin Ponzi scheme, revenue collector South African Income Companies (SARS) demanded $55.3 million from the scheme’s liquidators. The tax collector added that he needed the tax bill settled before the MTI liquidation process was finalized.

Liquidators fail ‘because reputable public officers’

The South African revenue collector allegedly filed a claim of around $55 million towards the now defunct Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, Mirror Buying and Selling Worldwide (MTI). The declaration filed with the Cape City High Court covers two tax periods, the years 2019 and 2020.

In response to a Moneyweb report, the revenue management body called the South African Income Service (SARS) said it wanted this tax bill settled before the liquidation process for MTI was finalized. As previously reported by News, a total of $75 million was made from the sale of MTI-owned bitcoins that had been scooped up from forex trader FX Alternative.

SARS, which accuses the liquidators of the collapsed agency of failing to fulfill their duties “because the reputable officials”, reportedly said that it reserves the right to regulate its statement in the event that other bitcoins belonging to MTI would be discovered.

In his submission to the excessive courtroom referral, the revenue collector claimed that in addition to the late provision of revenue information, the liquidators failed to report the $10.8 million and 398 million dollars in revenue made in the years 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Of the $55.3 million that SARS requires liquidators, about $20.8 million is for conventional income tax, according to the Moneyweb report. To underestimate the revenue, SARS mentioned that it needed $34.5 million from the liquidators.

SARS needs preferred creditor status

Additionally, during the presentation of evidence on behalf of SARS, Johan Matthews of the Revenue Collector’s Illicit Economic System Unit allegedly argued that the Revenue Collector should be granted preferred creditor status pursuant to the insolvency law. If granted, this status prevents liquidators from disbursing recovered funds until the revenue collector’s claims have been settled in full. SARS also mentioned until a return is submitted within 40 days of the valuation, MTI’s liquidators will not be able to object or oppose.

The report also quotes the tax collector explaining why he is not ready for the completion of the liquidation process.

“Knowing that the taxpayer [MTI] has been definitively liquidated and the liquidators are in the strategy of finalizing the administration of the property as well as the cost of the interim dividends to the confirmed collectors, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the taxpayer will not pay the full amount of the tax and that the reinstatement of the tax could also be troublesome in the future,” SARS reportedly said.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is an award-winning journalist, creator and author in Zimbabwe. He has written extensively on the financial problems of some African countries and how digital currencies can offer Africans an escape route.

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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Esther L. Steinbach