UK shuts down bogus crypto advice platform


UK authorities have shut down Amey Finance Academy, a cryptocurrency advisory firm, following a High Court order on April 30. The Insolvency Service discovered that the firm, directed by Desmond Amey, misled investors about the security of their investments in cryptocurrency schemes.

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Tricking unsuspecting users

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The investigation revealed that Amey Finance Academy provided false assurances to investors. One investor was told their investment wouldn’t drop below 90%, yet they lost their entire investment.

In WhatsApp messages, Amey told another investor their investments were “100 certy” and to “trust me bro.”

“Desmond Amey used Amey Finance Academy to recklessly persuade individuals to invest in cryptocurrency schemes and mislead them about the risks,” said Mark George, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service.

Amey Finance Academy promoted various schemes, including HyperFund, later rebranded as HyperVerse, which defrauded investors of $1.7 billion. This scheme operated without intervention from Australian authorities for two years.

Multiple authorities step in

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission referred the matter to Victoria Police in 2020, who then sent it back to ASIC in January 2022. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged HyperVerse founder Sam Lee with fraud in January 2024. 

Due to incomplete records, the Insolvency Service could not fully ascertain the connection between Amey Finance Academy and HyperVerse, leading to the winding-up order.

Desmond Amey also falsely claimed to be authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority and maintained an office at 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, from which he was evicted in January 2023 for non-payment of rent. 

He claimed in interviews that the company’s bank account was used to help people buy crypto through another firm, Bleuguava.

Amey Finance Academy was initially launched in December 2018. The company claimed to be an “established and successful independent consultancy” offering various financial services.

Financial records show that approximately $6.3 million passed through Amey Finance Academy’s accounts from October 2019 to March 2022. However, due to a lack of transparency and incomplete records, the firm’s assets and liabilities could not be accurately determined.

The development comes amidst increased scrutiny from regulators in the sector. Earlier this month, the UK treasury warned about the risks of cryptocurrencies in money laundering.


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