Case Study: Negotiations Result in MORE than a 100% Recovery
J.B. resides in the United Kingdom. As part of his investment strategy, he invested via a number of different online brokers. Among them were two that behaved unethically and caused considerable financial loss.
The first was a company registered in the offshore haven of the Seychelles, and regulated in Cyprus. Despite J.B. having developed a large active trading balance, the broker refused numerous withdrawal requests. Their excuses for refusing to part with any money were totally unjustified, but were ostensibly based on the company’s terms and conditions,which J.B. had signed. By the time he had realized that he was in a dispute situation, he had deposited £8,007.
The second problematic investment was with a broker that dealt in bitcoin, to whom J.B. sent ₿0.32, worth over £15,000 as of this writing. The investment disappeared, and the broker claimed to have no knowledge of it. Given that the bitcoin had passed through various crypto exchanges and anonymous wallets, there was little J.B. could do to press his case with the broker for a refund.
Faced with tremendous losses and with no hope of recovering them, J.B. turned to MyChargeBack for help.
The two cases had to be dealt with entirely separately, not because of the different currencies involved, but because they involved disputes with two entirely unrelated companies.
We first got to work on the GBP dispute with the first broker, as it depended on tighter timeframes and a clearly defined opponent. We began by collecting sufficient information to prove the broker’s misconduct. Once we had everything we needed, we downloaded the broker’s official seven-page complaint form.
In order to fill it out, we needed to include a number of critical details. It was not enough merely to “complain.” We needed to present a case to the broker that made the case in no uncertain terms that, from the point of view of their customer (our client, J.B.) they had broken very specific regulations. Doing so depended on our encyclopedic knowledge of international financial regulations, and is not something most private individuals could have been expected to accomplish. In fact, few professionals are equipped with the dynamic skill sets, technology and experience resolving disputes that MyChargeBack needed to make the regulatory case effectively.
It was necessary to not only make our client’s argument from a technical point of view, but also to chronicle the effect that the broker’s misconduct had had on his private and financial life. The entire complaint was written from our client’s point of view. When it was complete, we forwarded it to him with instructions for filing it with his broker, along with a clear and unambiguous threat to escalate the matter should they fail to satisfy his demands.
Unsurprisingly, faced with highly unpleasant consequences, the broker quickly contacted our client with a settlement offer. It was for far less than the disputed amount. We advised him not to accept it, and presented him with the text of a reply, threatening to escalate the matter immediately, with a clear reminder of his awareness of all of their misdeeds. We were able to be so confident based on our extensive experience with similar cases. No doubt our client would have been sorely tempted to cut his losses and accept the first offer.
Our client was very pleased to read the broker’s next offer, which was for £8,600, that is to say almost £600 more than the amount originally lost. It is worth pointing out how notable it is to achieve a negotiated settlement for more than the disputed amount. It is a testament to both the strength of J.B.’s case as well as MyChargeBack’s ability to present it forcefully and accurately based on comprehensive due diligence.
At this point, a new problem arose: our client now informed us that he wished to push for an even higher settlement, since his trading account had contained more than the offer. It was not an unreasonable idea, but our experience told us in no uncertain terms that the time had come to accept the offer. “It’s better to be smart than right” is the order of the day. Giving up too soon (as our client understandably wanted to do) would have resulted in a suboptimal recovery. Pushing too hard (as our newly overconfident client wanted to do) may have resulted in a break in communication and no recovery at all.
One more serious matter required our intervention in this case, and a slightly less attentive reader might have missed it entirely. The broker’s “final” offer included, of course, a declaration for him to sign for the “refund” to be paid to J.B.’s online broker account. The inability to withdraw his funds from the online broker account was the whole problem, so we instructed him to insist in no uncertain terms that the funds be paid directly to his bank account, or no deal. They relented, and a few days later we were all thrilled to see the entire amount appear exactly where it belonged.
The time had now come to deal with our client’s other case. Bitcoin. Inexperienced investors may believe that bitcoin that’s gone is gone forever, and even tracing it is impossible. The good news is that neither of those assumptions is true.
We possess proprietary tools that allow us to perform forensic blockchain analysis, which is exactly what we did. It contained the comprehensive details of every step the bitcoin took from the time it left our client’s wallet until it was cashed out, including all the wallet addresses, transaction IDs, and exchanges involved. All this information comprised half of our CryptoTrace report.
In addition to the above, we also included a step-by-step procedure of the best practice for J.B. to go about recovering his money. This included recommended text for a police report, as well as all the other authorities he would need to speak with in order to make his legal case.
We forwarded the custom report to our client. It represents his best chance to recover his money through legal channels, and contains information that possibly no one else could have compiled for him.
There were numerous points along the way of dealing with this pair of cases where it would have been very easy for everything to fall apart.
First, we knew how to triage. The case involving GBP had to have been addressed immediately because there was no way of knowing if the broker would still be in business as time passed. Then there was the question whether the client should accept the first offer he received or not. Our experience in dealing with similar cases proved critical in providing the client with the correct advice, since he otherwise would have fallen into a trap to deny him his refund. Finally, the execution of our strategy resulted in the client winding up with a recovery that exceeded his loss.
Turning to the cryptocurrency case, the unique tools that MyChargeBack has at its disposal, which combine hardware, software and human intelligence, traced the route the client’s bitcoin took until it reached the last exchange along the blockchain. That was the key to revealing the identity of the wallet in which it was being held.
For more information about MyChargeBack’s Crypto Report services, click here.
At a Glance: MyChargeBack in the UK
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