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Arkansas Securities Department joins with other U.S., Canadian regulators to target global investment fraud scheme

Little Rock, Ark. (Dec. 19, 2023) – On Nov. 22, 2023, Arkansas Securities Commissioner Susannah T. Marshall entered a cease-and-desist order to stop an ongoing international scheme threatening immediate and irreparable public harm to Arkansans. The order found that GS Partners Global (GS Partners), Swiss Valorem Bank, and Josip Heit, CEO, chairman of the board and control person of GS Partners, (collectively Respondents) offered and sold unregistered, fraudulent securities in the form of MetaCertificates tied to digital assets.

The Respondents promoted a global, fraudulent multi-level marketing scheme that solicited investors to purchase MetaCertificates. Investors were encouraged to purchase MetaCertificates by making an initial investment payment in digital currency to GS Partners. Additional payments were required to unlock various features of the initial investment and activate the payment of promised weekly and monthly profits.

While promoting and selling the MetaCertificates through various websites, the Respondents violated the Arkansas Securities Act and the Rules of the Arkansas Securities Commissioner by failing to provide material disclosures and key information to Arkansas investors and by offering and selling unregistered, nonexempt MetaCertificate securities to Arkansans. Heit controlled and acted as an unregistered agent of GS Partners and Swiss Valorum Bank.

Additionally, the order found that GS Partners promoted the crypto trading platform ArkBit Capital LLC (“ARKBIT”). In June 2023, ARKBIT was found to be fraudulently selling unregistered securities in Arkansas by the Arkansas Securities Commissioner.

“Bad actors are beginning to develop fraudulent schemes that appear sophisticated and legitimate in light of recent technological advances,” said Marshall. “We are seeing an uptick in fraudulent schemes focused on recent technology trends such as the metaverse, cryptocurrencies, and digital assets. Nevertheless, the Securities Department continues its fight to protect investors from this type of fraud and misconduct.”

The action was the product of a working group of securities regulators from the United States and Canada that coordinated their investigations. Commissioner Marshall recognizes the valuable assistance of other U.S. and Canadian members of the working group.

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