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The Insolvency Service Shuts Down Unauthorised Cryptocurrency Firm

Cryptocurrency scams

The Insolvency Service secured a winding-up order for cryptocurrency firm Amey Finance after customers lost money and were falsely promised that their investments were "100 certy".

Crypto Trading theme with blurred city lights

A customer has lost all their money after being advised that their investment would “not stop below 90%”. Director Desmond Amey set up Amey Finance in 2018 and assured clients that their cryptocurrency investments were secure. Calling himself a “wealth creation expert”, Amey defrauded victims by persuading them to invest in cryptocurrency schemes.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that doesn’t exist physically but can be invested or traded similarly to traditional stocks and shares. Most people have seen or heard of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, which are often touted as lucrative investment opportunities with the potential for fast and high returns.

The Insolvency Service investigation found Desmond Amey was misleading customers about the risks of cryptocurrency investments and failing to deliver up-to-date accounting records, including £5 million that passed through the company’s bank account.

One customer was told via WhatsApp messages to “trust me, bro” and assured that the investments were “100 certy”.

Amey Finance promoted cryptocurrency schemes run by other companies called Hyperfund and Bleuguava. Warnings about HyperFund have been issued in the UK and New Zealand, and its founder was charged with fraud in January.

Amey Finance did not register an address with Companies House and was not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK financial services regulator.

Since Amey Finance was not regulated by the FCA, investors who lost money through them cannot make a complaint or claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the government-backed scheme responsible for resolving disputes between financial firms and their customers. Additionally, investors of Amey Finance will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects consumers when regulated financial services firms fail.

Mark George, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

“Desmond Amey used Amey Finance Academy to recklessly persuade individuals to invest in cryptocurrency schemes and mislead them about the risks of doing so.

His claims to offer a financial education and concierge service will be of no comfort to customers who lost their money in investments he actively encouraged.

The failure to deliver adequate accounting records and a general lack of transparency shown has prevented the Insolvency Service from establishing the true extent of the company’s activities, its assets and liabilities, or the use of £5 million which passed through the company’s bank account between October 2019 and March 2022.”

The public deserve protection from companies trading in an opaque and objectionable manner which is why we applied to have Amey Finance Academy shut down.

Despite Amey Finance not being FCA regulated, you may still be able to make a claim against your bank if it fails to stop fraud.

When someone transfers money from their bank account to a scammer, this is called Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud. Scammers commonly use this technique as the money is paid immediately and can be quickly moved on, often overseas, making it difficult to recover.

Banks in the UK are responsible for detecting scams and fraud on their customer accounts. Therefore, unusual activities, such as transferring money to an unregulated cryptocurrency company or sending large sums of money to a new payee, should appear suspicious and prompt the bank to step in and halt or completely stop the transaction.

If you believe your bank didn’t do enough to stop a cryptocurrency scam on your account, TLW Solicitors can help you make a complaint with your bank and, if necessary, with FOS to claim compensation.

If you invest in cryptocurrency, you must be cautious of unsolicited contact through social media, email campaigns, messaging apps, or phone calls. A promise of high returns is unlikely to be true, and cryptocurrency values fluctuate, so there is no guarantee of high investment performance.

When researching cryptocurrency investments online, you must be aware of professional-looking ads that link to genuine looking websites.

It’s vital to do your research:

  • Is the company registered with the FCA?
  • Have any complaints been made against the company?
  • Is the firm pretending to be someone else?

If you are unsure, take your time and don’t be rushed into investing. Speak to family and friends first, and always seek advice from financial experts.

Sarah Spruce, Legal Director and Head of the Scams and Fraud team at TLW Solicitors, commented:

“Customers need to be aware of cryptocurrency schemes and how to stay safe; however, banks also have a duty to stay updated with the ever-evolving fraud schemes and monitor suspicious transactions.

Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed if you or a loved one has fallen victim to scammers. You are not alone, and specialist help is available. Contact my team for a no-obligation discussion to explore your options and to see if if you can claim a ‘no win, no fee’ refund.”

Our team of specialist lawyers are experienced in handling Authorised Push Payment fraud cases, including FOS claims and appeals.

We work on a ‘no win – no fee’ basis. If we pursue your claim and it is unsuccessful, we won’t charge you.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation chat about your case. You can call us at 0800 169 5925, email us at info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk, or complete the call-back forms below.

It is important to get advice as soon as possible, as strict time limits can apply.

Minimum case values apply.

Meet Our Team

Meet Sarah, who heads up our experienced Authorised Push Payment Fraud Claims team.

Sarah and her colleagues are on hand to help with your claim.