OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced today that it has issued an emergency action against Swiss Valorem Bank Ltd., GSB Gold Standard Bank Ltd., Josip Heit, and Stephn McNeal (collectively, “GSPartners”), for violations of securities laws and corresponding penalties in connection with their MetaCertificates offerings and multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme.
The action is the result of a multi-state task force of several securities regulators in the U.S. and Canada.
Under GSPartners’ MLM scheme, the Introducing Partner Programme (IPP), investors who pay an enrollment fee and complete a Partnership Agreement are eligible to sell GSPartners services and receive bonuses and commissions based on the number of people they can get to buy into the IPP — their “downline.” Investors in the IPP are eligible to receive a varying return of 2-15% on up to nine levels of sales if the investor retains three active partnership referrals in their downline.
GSPartners are also offering investors the ability to purchase several series of “MetaCertificates” on the “Lydian.World Metaverse1.” Investors purchase MetaCertificates by transferring funds to GSPartners and then “loading” their MetaCertificates by transferring additional funds. For investors to receive a profit after buying a MetaCertificate, they must (i) continue investing money or “loading” them, and, to receive the full payment of a promotional bonus, (ii) attend a specified event. GSPartners has presently disabled weekly return payments on MetaCertificate purchases unless investors deposit more funds into the MetaCertificate.
“These actions by GSPartners are just a few examples of why DFI regularly reaches out to community members about how to identify, avoid, and report potentially fraudulent activity,” DFI Director of Securities Bill Beatty said.
“Working with our colleagues in other states to protect investors is essential in ensuring entities like GSPartners are stopped in their tracks,” DFI Director Charlie Clark said. “Keeping investors safe from bad actors is core to DFI’s mission — and we take our mission seriously.”
Swiss Valorem Bank Ltd. and GSB Gold Standard Bank Ltd. are representing themselves as banks, however they are not licensed or chartered as banks federally or in the state of Washington. This means that investors’ purchases are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). There is no protection from loss for any investments with these parties.
In today’s emergency action, DFI determined that GSPartners is currently offering its MetaCertificates and MLM scheme to the people of Washington State without first registering to offer or sell these securities with Washington DFI, in violation of state securities laws. DFI further determined that GSPartners are failing to disclose material information about the investments to investors including information about actions taken by Canadian securities regulators against GSPartners.
Investors are encouraged to contact DFI or to consult DFI’s securities registration database to confirm an offeree’s registration status before investing their money.
DFI expects any person offering securities in Washington to comply with Washington’s securities laws. If you are a client of GSPartners with complaints about your MetaCertificates or involvement in the MLM scheme, please file a complaint with the DFI at File Securities and Investment Complaints.
1 The term metaverse is defined as a three-dimensional online environment in which users represented by avatars interact with each other in virtual spaces decoupled from the real physical world.