Moscow police initiate criminal case following billion embezzlement at Forex market

Moscow police initiate criminal case following billion embezzlement at Forex market

STForex company based in embezzled funds of clients who were convinced of the fact that they played at Forex.

Moscow police have initiated a criminal case into creation of a criminal community against a group of parties who provided services of Forex dealers under the guise of STForex company. The damage is estimated at 1 billion rubles ($15.5 million), reports Kommersant with reference to its sources.

According to the newspaper, STForex worked since 2014 without a license. The company rented an office in the Moscow International Business Center’s Empire building and launched a commercial campaign - including one within the federal media. During the training courses, the criminals showed the clients how easily they could earn money. After the courses, a client invested small amounts (around $200) and remained in the black. After that, the traders called the newcomer for gambling. Some of the victims gave them all their savings. In certain circumstances, they even took out loans against security of immovable property.

According to law enforcement, only major clients’ deals (worth of around $100 thousand) reached the real market. The rest transferred the money through WMexpay, a system attached to the web site of the company. The system is not on the special register of the Central Bank. The money was transferred to the broker’s account allegedly owned by an organization that provides access to the inter-bank currency market. In fact, the money was stolen, and the schemes that showed material losses were showed to the clients.

Co-owner of STForex Aleksander Smirnov was detained first within the case. The investigation believes he is an arranger of the fraud. Upon the motion of the investigation, Tverskoy district court arrested him. One of his assistants - Kirill Ostapenko - was also detained. Both were released on 3 million rubles ($46 thousand) bail. The law enforcers theory is that there were nine persons in the criminal community.

Tags: Moscow
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