USI TECH – A German Crypto-Venture
The Crypto-MLM USI TECH sold (or sells) itself as the “future of cryptocurrency” and “the world’s first automated trading platform for the Bitcoin currency”, promising its customers daily growth and “returns of up to 150% per year.” If these statements ring a bell with you, then because this is what actually all Crypto-MLMs are promising with different flavors.
They claim to be an online Forex and Bitcoin trading platform provider, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Co-founders of USI -Tech are the German guys Mike Kiefer, Ralf Gold, and Horst Jicha, and the Portuguese Jao Severino.
Mike KIEFER, for example, is a well-known individual in the German MLM scene. He was one of the key promoters of the now-defunct MonaVie MLM scheme and a key person in the allegedly fraudulent ViziNova scheme. ViziNova was regarded as a sort of successor of the famous global Ponzi scheme WCM:
- In March 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shut down the worldwide pyramid scheme WCM which allegedly raised more than $65 million by promising people they could double their money in 100 days by investing in cloud services. SEC said they were also creating a “secondary market” where about $890 million of points had been traded (Source: Reuters).
- In March 2017 the US regulator SEC announced that two ViziNova promotors agreed to pay $1.4 million in disgorgement plus penalties of $160,000 each.
That’s quite an impressive track record for MLM artists, right? One could rightfully say that these are premier league artists. In 2016 some of those guys continued their activities with USI TECH. If you ask on Quora for USI TECH you will find the following answer:
Jao Severino (JOÃO FILIPE FERNANDES SEVERINO) has beenbecause he was involved with another scam called AMC INVEST. AMC Invest offered 10% interest per month on investments and it ended up scamming hundreds of people before it was taken down by the authorities. People were arrested for this scam.
Ralf Gold has promoted many money making scams in the past as well.
Well, that’s USI TECH and its environment then. KIEFER and his partners obviously identified cryptocurrencies and entered the space in late 2016 with their USI TECH.
And then the Regulators stepped in
Officially launched on November 1, 2016, the crypto-MLM USI TECH is operating in 45 countries said Mike KIEFER, one of the co-founders, in an interview on December 19, 2017. On the very next day, December 20, 2017, the Texas State Securities Board issued an emergency cease and desist to USI-Tech and two promoters, Clifford Thomas and Michael Rivera, following an internal investigation and evidence of securities fraud.
“Neither USI-Tech nor the sales agents, Clifford Thomas of Suitland Md., and Michael Rivera of Los Angeles, are registered to sell securities in Texas.
The agents’ websites claim the mining investment “derives its value from [USI-Tech’s] non-exclusive interest in a series of Bitcoin mining contracts.” They promise a daily return of 1%.
The USI-Tech website says its Bitcoin platform “consistently provides returns of up to 150% per year.” The returns do not depend on the value of Bitcoin, according to the company. In addition to violating registration requirements, USI-Tech and the sales agents are violating State Securities Board rules by failing to disclose information investors would need to make an informed decision about whether to invest.
Well, a hard hit, isn`t it? USI TECH reacted rather quickly. On January 6, USI TECH issued a letter to its North American affiliates terminating all distribution agreements and ceased all sales and marketing operations as a result. North American affiliates were blocked from their USI-Tech back offices. Additionally, USI TECH advised its affiliates to destroy any evidence regarding the online promotion of USI-TECH’s services. The move was widely seen as an attempt to destroy evidence that may incriminate them in further investigations.
In February 2018, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) released a statement warning against USI TECH and two individuals that it says are not registered to sell securities in Ontario. The securities commissions of other Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have published their own warnings to investors regarding the company. The warning accuses Eleanor Parker, Casey Combden, and USI TECH of a few separate suspicious activities:
- being involved in a multi-level marketing scheme that reels Ontarian investors in and persuades them to buy Bitcoin mining packages;
- trading securities without registration and without an exemption to the registration requirement contrary to the Securities Act.
Purportedly, USI TECH has sold more than $420 Million In BTC Packages to more than 160,000 members worldwide. That’s quite something, isn’t it?
The Tech Coin ICO
Late 2017, USI TECH launched its TechCoin ICO to finance its operation. The ICO was regarded as a scam and received mostly negative reviews (see for example Bitcointalk here). It’s not really clear if and how much funds actually were raised in the ICO. USI TECH has not disclosed anything. If you visit the ICO website www.tech-coin.io, a pop-up message informs you that the TechCoin operation has been closed down because of hacker attacks (see screenshot left).
The end of the story? The end of the story! At least for USI TECH and TechCoin. But there is one thing for sure. Mike KIEFER and his friends will soon be back with another “next big thing” to go for your money. We continue our investigations on USI TECH and its environment.
Given this impressive track record, we included Mike KIEFER in our Top 10 list of Crypto-MLM promoters.