I was defrauded by a seemingly legit brokerage firm

After a contract breach, a brokerage firm that had passed the verification test scammed me for thousands of dollars. The regulatory commission is also not willing to help. The complaint has been ongoing for over two years. The firm is headquartered in the Bahamas and legal remedy is a nightmare since I’m in Kampala, Uganda. Any suggestions for possible solutions?

Do you mean thousands of deposited finds or profits or a mix of both?

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Is the firm still trading?

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A mix of both. I had deposited funds and bought a derivative whose price has long since turned a profit.

Yes it is. I have spent the last 2 years trying to get the firm to act on the complaint, even involved the licensing authority which declared that it cannot act as an ombudsman to help me recover my funds. The authority also refused to declare if they were carrying out a fraud investigation on the firm. Apparently that cannot be made public information. The authority told me to seek private legal counsel in the Bahamas if I want to recover the funds which leads me to question their role in protecting client deposits.

The main concern of regulators is to ensure the smooth running of the financial services industry, not to protect consumers.

Even if you breached terms & conditions the firm is obliged to re-fund your deposited funds. But you might need to show them you are serious by getting a lawyer in the jurisdiction involved.

As for the profits accumulated, what happens to these depends on how you got them, i.e. what was the alleged breach of contract.

Oh man. So sorry. Do you have a lawyer dealing with this?

Getting a lawyer from the Bahamas has proved the hardest part thus far. It doesn’t help that I am from Uganda, Africa. I tried to use a Ugandan firm, they sent the brokerage firm a demand letter which they responded to with some vague explanation for the fraud. My lawyers have yet to advise on the next course of action but being a local firm, they probably have no jurisdiction to prosecute a Bahamian company. It is so frustrating.

I have a local law firm trying to pursue a case but I need a Bahamas-based firm to take the broker on. Getting that one has become a proper nightmare.

i’m very sorry indeed to hear of your difficulty, which is actually a common one

usually for amounts of money small enough for people to decide to walk away from the problem, which is why crooked people get away with this

you already know this, and i mention it only to help others here, but the key word there is “seemingly” - the reality is that the brokerage was not ASIC-regulated and not FCA-regulated and not CFTC-regulated, it was regulated only in the Caribbean or whatever, so you are not protected by a real regulator

again, you already know this, and i mention it only to help others here, but the verification test was the wrong one: it didn’t check whether the firm was ASIC or FCA regulated

this is why its essential to send money only to brokerages who are regulated by ASIC or FCA or CFTC, knowing that your account is one regulated in that way

finding one is your lawyers’ job, not yours

the Kampala law firm needs to recruit a “correspondent law firm” in Nassau

if they can’t, then you need a different Kampala law firm who can

without this, you have nothing

suggestion: tell your lawyer to try via the Nassau Chamber of Commerce or even the Rotary Club of Nassau - neither has any legal duty to do so, but they may possibly be able to suggest a Nassau law firm who might take on a case on a contingent-fee or partly-contingent-fee basis

its all i can suggest

i’m sorry youre in such an awful situation, and i wish you very good luck with it

again, please excuse my comments above which are in no way intended as a criticism of you, im simply trying to stress to other, less experienced members here - of whom there are many - that they should NEVER send money to a brokerage not regulated by either the FCA or ASIC (or maybe CTFC if they’re in America)

a few of us here keep mentioning this, but sadly almost nobody takes any notice of us

i apologise for using your thread as an opportunity to get onto my soap-box and say it yet again, and i hope that possibly my suggestion above may prove worthwhile, but my gut feeling is honestly that it may not, im very sorry to say :slightly_frowning_face:

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That’s where it gets interesting and why I used the words “seemingly”. When I opened the account, the company traded under a different name and the offices were listed as being in Cyprus and UK. The company also had FCA and CySec licenses. That is what I based on to confirm its legitimacy.

Later, it opened a Caribbean branch with a different name in the Bahamas and migrated the accounts of customers, especially the ones for clients based in Africa to the new offices, probably to facilitate the subsequent fraud. SCB now became the new regulator and issuer of the license.

No offense taken. In the process of trying to recover the funds, I contacted the FCA which informed me that they had no jurisdiction over the accounts a subsidiary of the firm they regulate operates in the Caribbean and would have only helped me if my account was held in the UK. I was also notified that the Financial Ombudsman Service could not help because of similar reasons.

It meant that my only chance for recovery lay with the SCB which has since failed to administer any form of justice citing the reasons I earlier stated.

It’s been over 2 years now since this fraud was committed but I hope somewhere along the journey to recover those funds, i can get a break in the complaint. It is so frustrating.

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So that’s interesting that companies regulated by FCA can just move client accounts like that? :open_mouth:

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