Victims of ROFX seek alternative means to reach Forex firm
About a month after a number of victims of ROFX.net launched a lawsuit against the online trading platform, its founders and a number of entities associated with it, it has become clear that the plaintiffs are having hard time effecting service on the defendants. Put otherwise, many of the defendants cannot be found.
On November 5, 2021, the plaintiffs in this action filed a motion for alternative service on a number of defendants. The document, seen by FX News Group, proposes the authorizing of alternative service of process of the summon and complaint on the foreign defendants in this action by: (i) email; (ii) internet direct messaging and social media (i.e., Facebook or LinkedIn); (iii) publication; or (iv) International Mail, return receipt requested, and service will be deemed complete upon delivery of summons and complaint by any of the foregoing methods.
Let’s recall that the plaintiffs allege that the defendants fraudulently marketed, advertised and represented that ROFX.netwas an electronic trading platform designed to make investments for Plaintiffs’ benefit in order to solicit investors to deposit fiat money or cryptocurrency.
In reality, ROFX distributed little of its purported trading profit, prevented investors from making withdrawals, and stole their investment capital (including investments made via cryptocurrency), to perpetuate a massive fraud that was global in scope.
To date, the plaintiffs have successfully executed service on eight defendants, including Auro Advantages LLC, Global E-Advantages LLC, Grovee LLC, EasyCom LC, Notus LLC, Shopostar LLC, Anna Shymko, and Stanislav Khomenko (who is now dismissed from this action).
However, Plaintiffs’ attempts to serve Defendants ROFX.net, Nataliya Los, Borys Konalavenko, and Aware Choice Ltd., within the United States at their last known addresses were unsuccessful as the addresses for these individuals and entities are fake.
Defendants used fake addresses on company records and reside across more than ten countries. As a result, tracking them down and attempting to serve has been costly and difficult. As a result, Plaintiffs seek authorization for alternative service on the following 22 defendants who have not been formally served: Jorge Luis Castillo (Belize), Peter Mogilniy (UK or Hong Kong), Wealthy Developments LP (Scotland, UK), Anton Bilous (Scotland, UK), VDD- Trading Ltd. (UK), Dmytro Fokin (UK), Manuchar Daraselia (UK), Epayments Systems Ltd. (UK), Andre Fetin (UK), Mikhail Rymanov (England or UK), Brass Marker s.r.o (Czech Republic), IT Outsourcing Co. Ltd. (Thailand), Nattpemol Krinara (Thailand), PapharaTsor Nrivratporn (Thailand), Boonruk Ruamkit Co. Ltd. (Thailand), Youras Ziankoviach (in custody), Ester Holdings Inc. (Cyprus), Igoria Trade S.A. (Poland).
The defendants went to great lengths to avoid identification. ROFX is an unincorporated entity providing unregulated financial services through its web-based platform to investors around the world, with registered addresses at 1200 Brickell Ave. Suite 1500, Miami, FL 33131, USA; Tower 42, 265 Old Broad Street London, United Kingdom, ECN 1HN; and Hong Kong Trade Centre, 161-167 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong, China. Plaintiffs attempted to serve ROFX at its Miami address; however, efforts proved unsuccessful because no ROFX office ever existed there.
Defendants also hid behind shell companies. Specifically, deposits for the ROFX investor accounts (in USD or EUR) were wired from Plaintiffs’ personal bank accounts to shell companies.
ROFX used email to communicate with its customers. It used investor emails to advertise its new trading algorithm and keep investors up to date on the platform’s regulatory issues. The trading platform had a live chat function on the site used to field questions and a Facebook page to solicit investment.ROFX used these channels to promote its products, push updates, and advertise its initial coin offering.
ROFX also had multiple phone numbers in the United States, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. It advertised with online media outlets such as Facebook, Google, and Yahoo Finance, and consumer review websites such as Trustpilot ̶ often flooding these sites with positive reviews. ROFX also accepted investor deposits in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which is a sophisticated internet based currency.
The plaintiffs argue that, given the Defendants operated an Internet-based trading platform, are savvy enough to transact in digital-internet based cryptocurrencies, and communicated with their investors exclusively through electronic and telephonic communications – alternate service in the form of e-mail, social media, web postings, and alternatively, publication, will adequately provide Defendants with reasonable notice of this action. In fact, this is the most effective and expeditious method of service to notify the Defendants of the pending action given their concealed identities and residences all over the world.