Hong Kong court orders freeze of assets of Maxim Trader

The Hong Kong authorities have shown they are capable of rigid actions against unlicensed Forex companies…

The Court of First Instance has granted various interim orders against Maxim Capital Limited (Maxim Capital), an unlicensed investment firm, including freezing all its assets in Hong Kong totalling approximately HK$23.5 million ($3.03 million).

The court decision was made after legal proceedings brought by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) under section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO).

In addition, on November 6, 2015, interim orders were granted to restrain Maxim Capital from holding out as carrying on regulated activities whilst unlicensed and to suspend its websites that have been promoting the carrying out of regulated activities under the brand name “Maxim Trader”.

maxim_trader_logoThe SFC’s investigation has found that since 2013 Maxim Capital and Maxim Trader have solicited more than 130 investors to invest more than HK$111 million in a number of investment schemes that claimed to pay monthly returns from 3% to 8%. Whereas the investors were initially able to receive monthly returns on their investments, they have not received further monthly returns since July 2015. Maxim Capital/Maxim Trader said that the investments had been converted into shares of a company which appear to the SFC to be worthless.

The SFC alleges that Maxim Capital and Maxim Trader have contravened the SFO by holding out as carrying on a business in SFC regulated activities in Hong Kong without an SFC licence and issuing related advertisements.

The SFC also alleges that Maxim Capital and Maxim Trader have contravened the SFO by issuing advertisements which invite the public to enter into agreements to acquire interests in a collective investment scheme without SFC’s authorization. Maxim Capital and Maxim Trader made various fraudulent or reckless misrepresentations, including the claim that Maxim Capital was a financial service provider licensed in New Zealand and regulated in Belize. Let’s note that the Belize financial regulator has issued a separate warning regarding this company.

The SFC has identified approximately HK$23.5 million held in an account maintained by Maxim Capital with a licensed money service operator in Hong Kong. Those funds are now frozen under the terms of the interim injunction order. This order will be in force until the trial of these proceedings, the date of which has yet to be determined.

The SFC’s investigation goes on.

The SFC provides the following note on Maxim Capital:

Maxim Capital is a company incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles and has a business registration certificate in Hong Kong. The SFC alleges that Maxim Capital has marketed its businesses under the brand name of “Maxim Trader” via the websites www.maximtrader.com, www.maximtrader.biz, www.maximtaiwan.com and/or partner.maximtrader.com and various marketing seminars in Hong Kong.

To view the official announcement from the Hong Kong regulator, click here.

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