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UK Authorities Shut Down Crypto Academy Over Deceptive Investment Advice

ByDayne Lee

May 16, 2024
UK Authorities Shut Down Crypto Academy Over Deceptive Investment Advice

UK Authorities Shut Down Crypto Academy Over Deceptive Investment Advice

The United Kingdom’s regulatory authorities have taken decisive action against Amey Finance Academy, a crypto training establishment accused of misleading consumers into participating in high-risk, loss-inducing investment schemes, including a $1.7 billion alleged Ponzi scheme. The firm’s closure marks a significant step in the ongoing effort to protect investors from fraudulent financial activities.

Founded in December 2018, Amey Finance Academy positioned itself as an independent consultancy offering diverse financial services. The firm, under the direction of its sole proprietor, Desmond Amey, promised lucrative returns on cryptocurrency investments. However, these promises were not met, leading to substantial financial losses for many investors.

Investigations by the UK’s Insolvency Service revealed that Desmond Amey engaged in deceptive practices, assuring clients of almost guaranteed profits. In private communications, such as WhatsApp messages, Amey assured one investor of a “100 certy” investment, urging them to “trust me bro.” Another was falsely comforted that their investment would not drop below 90% of its value, only to lose their entire investment later.

The HyperVerse Ponzi Scheme Connection

Amey Finance Academy was notably involved in promoting HyperFund, later renamed HyperVerse, a platform that has been implicated in a massive $1.7 billion Ponzi scheme. Despite its questionable operations, the scheme managed to operate without significant scrutiny from Australian regulators for nearly two years. It was only when the U.S. securities regulators stepped in that the principal operators of HyperVerse were charged with running a fraudulent scheme.

Due to the gravity of the allegations and the opaque operations of Amey Finance Academy, the Insolvency Service secured a winding-up order from the UK High Court on April 30. The lack of clear accounting records at the academy prevented a thorough understanding of its financial dealings, particularly its involvement with HyperVerse.

Financial Transactions and Lack of Transparency

Between October 2019 and March 2022, approximately £5 million (about $6.3 million) was transacted through the academy’s accounts. However, due to incomplete records, the exact financial status, including assets and liabilities of Amey Finance Academy, remained indeterminate.

This case underscores the critical need for transparency and accountability in financial advisories, especially those dealing with complex and highly volatile assets like cryptocurrencies. The closure of Amey Finance Academy serves as a cautionary tale for both investors and regulators concerning the potential risks associated with crypto investments and the importance of rigorous oversight.

Regulatory and Investor Perspective

The UK’s decisive action against deceptive financial practices highlights the importance of regulatory vigilance in protecting investor interests. For investors, this situation is a stark reminder of the necessity to conduct due diligence and seek advice from reputable and regulated entities.

The shuttering of Amey Finance Academy by UK authorities is a significant development in the fight against financial fraud, particularly in the cryptocurrency sector. It emphasizes the need for enhanced regulatory frameworks and informed decision-making by investors in the face of enticing yet potentially deceptive investment opportunities.

Featured image credit: Lewis Kevin via CryptoDisrupt

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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