In March 2021, the UK High Court found that Mohammed Fuaath Haja Maricar operated the illegal CFD trading scheme 24HR Trading Academy. Via his UK company, he acted as Introducing Broker for AvaTrade and VantageFX. Maricar was ordered to pay restitution of over £530,000. As he failed to pay, the FCA petitioned for his personal bankruptcy and finally received a payment from the official receiver totaling £106,650.58. The funds will be distributed to the schemes’ former clients.
The 24HR Trading scheme was designed to transmit the signals to its followers and refer them to AvaTrade and VantageFX.
The UK High Court found that the 24HR Trading scheme unlawfully provided these trading signals to consumers for a fee. The trading signals were sent via WhatsApp and contained recommendations about contracts for difference (CFDs) relating to currencies and commodities. He acted as an agent for the tho CFD brokers AvaTrade EU Ltd d/b/a AvaTrade, regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (No.C53877), and Vantage Global Prime Pty Ltd d/b/a VantageFX, regulated by the Australian ASIC.
Neither 24HR Trading nor Mr Maricar were permitted to give investment advice which, in this case, included sending trading signals via social media and their conduct risked substantial losses for customers.Mark Steward, FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight
It was a great business for the 24HR Trading scheme. Maricar had commission agreements with AvaTrade and VantageFX. Between 2017 and 2019, VantageFX paid £95,093 to Maricar as a commission. In the same period, AvaTrade paid £435,602 to Maricar.
Unauthorized Financial Influencers
Apparently, neither AvaTrade nor VantageFX bothered whether Maricar or his company had the appropriate authorization to distribute their financial products. Both brokers are regulated. We would estimate that over 90% of all introducing brokers acting as influencers on social media platforms do not have authorization.
If you have any information about Introducing Brokers or Financial Influencers, please let us know through our whistleblower system, Whistle42.