For Immediate Release: November 17, 2023
Wisconsin Joins U.S. and Canadian Securities Regulators in Issuing an Order Against GSPartners in Alleged Global Fraud Scheme
Wisconsin’s Action Alleges Fraud Tied to Sales of Investments Through a Metaverse and Metacertificates
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today announced an enforcement action to stop an ongoing international fraud scheme. The action accuses GSB Gold Standard Bank LTD, doing business as GSPartners, of offering and selling fraudulent certificates tied to digital assets and foreign currency exchanges, as well as investments in staking pools in a proprietary metaverse.
GSPartners is not registered to offer or sell securities in Wisconsin; however, GSPartners promoted investments through a multi-level marketing scheme paying lavish commissions to agents. GSPartners and its agents represented to potential investors that BDSwiss, a foreign currency exchange located in Switzerland, was completing foreign currency exchange trading on behalf of GSPartners investors to generate returns on the metacertificates when there was no relation between GSPartners or BDSwiss. TheWisconsin order also alleges that GSPartners concealed key information from the public, including information relevant to its capitalization, its use of principal, and the way it actually generates sufficient revenue to pay profits and cover compensation.
“Bad actors are leveraging widespread public interest in the metaverse to perpetrate fraudulent investment schemes through suspect solicitations for unregistered securities tied to the metaverse,” said DFI Secretary-designee Cheryll Olson-Collins. “They’re developing high-tech ploys to create a facade of legitimacy and deceive victims. Nevertheless, we’re working to proactively stop this type of fraud and protect the public from irreparable harm.”
GSPartners is currently marketing certificates tied to digital assets, according to the order. Investors allegedly purchase the certificates by paying GSPartners, and then continue to pay GSPartners to unlock the certificate’s features. These features purportedly increase the value of the certificate and activate the payment of weekly and monthly profits. In some cases, investors that unlock streams of income must continue to pay money to prevent the features from lapsing, according to the order.
The action was the product of a North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) working group of securities regulators from the United States and Canada. They coordinated their investigations as part of the working group, and their filings mark the most recent efforts to protect the public from alleged misconduct. Regulators from Canada previously warned the public about GSPartners and other members of the GSB Group.
The DFI recognizes the valuable assistance of other U.S. and Canadian members of the working group. Orders were also issued by several securities regulators, including Alabama, British Columbia, California, Kentucky, and Texas.
The DFI cautions investors to thoroughly research any investment opportunity before investing and verify the registration of individuals offering investment opportunities, investment advice for a fee, and any products they offer by contacting the DFI’s Division of Securities at (608) 266-2139 or DFISecurities@dfi.wisconsin.gov. Investors living in states other than Wisconsin, or in provinces, can contact their local regulatory agency at https://www.nasaa.org/contact-your-regulator.
Media Contact Email: DFICommunications@dfi.wisconsin.gov