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Investors want money back from alleged $33 million crypto fraud

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Another alleged crypto trading scam is in the books. This one involves a stock trader, a financial advisor, a surgeon, and an enterprise called Q3 I LP.

Michael Ackerman, a former broker with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), was charged in February with stealing substantial funds from the more than $33 million raised from over 100 investors. Now, aggrieved investors have formed a legal representing body known as the Q3 Investment Recovery Vehicle to hold him and his alleged partners, former Wells Fargo Advisors employee James Seijas and Florida surgeon Quan Tran, financially accountable for their losses.

Q3 allegedly lured investors into the scam with the promise of a high-returns trading algorithm via Facebook groups such as the Physician Dads’ Group. Ackerman was the alleged developer of an investment algorithm that lured investors to the group; he claimed to have used it in the past to trade stocks, but that it was just as successful when used for trading crypto.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint from February, however, “Ackerman invested no more than $10 million of the $33 milion raised from investors in cryptocurrencies and the profits generated by the Algorithm were minimal, at best.

Instead, Ackerman allegedly purchased five properties between 2018 and 2019 with investors’ money, including a 150+ acre plot in Montana and a $3 million beach house in Florida. He also allegedly spent funds on new cars and jewelry.

The SEC further stated that the company—which at the time, was operating under the name Q3 Holdings LLC—had charged its customers licensing fees to give them access to Ackerman’s trading algorithm. This resulted in another $4 million in payments, but the SEC says he failed to notify their limited partners of these payments. Moreover, Ackerman allegedly falsified account information to show 15% returns.

These and other financial discrepancies were initially discovered by Tran and Seijas late last year, according to an unsealed affidavit filed by Homeland Security Investigations’ special agent John Rodriguez. Upon visiting Ackerman in Ohio following a hospital stay, Tran and Seijas apparently gained access to his computer and discovered what Tran referred to as a big difference between the assets that Ackerman “had been reporting to us and the balance in the trading account.”

Upon confronting Ackerman about what appeared to be missing money, Ackerman allegedly told Tran and Seijas that he had moved it to a more secure trading account but refused to tell them anything more. Tran later notified the SEC about the situation, and federal prosecutors have charged Ackerman with wire fraud and money laundering.

While Tran and Seijas are not facing criminal charges, the Recovery Group is attempting to hold them accountable for their purported lack of judgement regarding Ackerman’s dealings. Both are alleged to have simply passed along whatever documents Ackerman manufactured to limited partners without question.

Furthermore, the company did not have a fund administrator like most other hedge funds, and both men allegedly forwarded screenshots from Ackerman’s cellphone as performance updates to limited partners—a strange way to roll considering Seijas has a background in finance.

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Wanderport Corporation Introduces Crypto 9 Coffee and ERC20 Utility Token

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Santa Monica, California–(Newsfile Corp. – January 25, 2021) – Wanderport Corporation (OTC PINK: WDRP), a multifaceted company and premier producer and distributor of food, beverages and consumer products with a focus on wellness and healthy lifestyle, today announces Crypto 9 Coffee and ERC20 utility token, Crypto 9.

Coffee is one of most traded commodities and consumed beverages in the world. About 200 million Americans and over 450 million cups of coffee are consumed in the US every day according to the National Coffee Association. According to the International Coffee Organization, over 9 million tons of coffee are consumed across the globe each year. The current global coffee market is approximately USD 102 billion and is expected to exceed USD 150 billion by 2026.

Wanderport is currently offering a line of Healthy coffees through its Sapa Coffee brand. Sapa coffees are blended with Hemp oil, rich in essential fatty acids. Consumers can now get extra nutritional value of Hemp on top of the many benefits of coffee in their daily beverage.

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To view an enhanced version of this graphic, please visit:
https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/6746/72720_91b1a50c84e79a45_001full.jpg

As an extension of its current offering, the Company is introducing a new line of coffee under the Crypto 9 Coffee brand. Crypto 9 coffees are not blended with Hemp and will initially be available in limited flavors and will expand from time to time with other unique coffees found throughout the world. Crypto 9 coffees will be sold online as well as to retailers and businesses.

Wanderport will also launch a new website and an Ethereum based ERC20 utility Crypto 9 token as part of the new initiative. The tokens have been created with the ticker symbol CRTN and is currently on the Ethereum blockchain. The website is scheduled to be live next month and will function as an online store that features various Fair-Trade coffees from different regions of the world.

Purchases made from the Crypto 9 Coffee store can be paid securely with the standard payment methods as well as Bitcoin Visa debit cards. Payments via other cryptocurrencies will eventually be accepted. The store will also have a customer reward program that award customers with points which can be redeemed for Crypto 9 tokens, Bitcoin or Ethereum later. This is an incentive for customers to purchase from Crypto 9 store instead of directly from the coffee producers listed on the site.

The Company is also working on additional incentive programs whereby consumers can earn additional tokens from referrals, promotion and marketing efforts.

As a way to encourage the token usage, the Company will offer discount purchases of Crypto 9 to commercial customers. The customers can then use the tokens to purchase coffee in bulk or pay for advertising, etc.

Future use of the tokens will include a mechanism for financing or investment. Through asset tokenization, growers can use Crypto 9 backed by their crops or assets to finance their growing season, upgrade their equipment or expand their businesses. Investors can be from all over the world and investment amount can vary in all sizes. Roasters and cooperatives can also use the tokens to finance for current or future coffee production.

As the Crypto 9 Coffee business expands, Wanderport may offer its tokens as an investment whereby global investors can acquire the tokens and receive income rights from the business. The potential for growth through tokenization is unlimited and the Company will provide more updates as business develops.

Wanderport strongly believes in social causes and giving back. A percentage of sales from Crypto 9 Coffee will be donated to various organizations that focus on improving the coffee growing and labor condition of farmers in developing countries. Other donations will be channeled to causes that help address mental illness issues.

Crypto 9 tokens are not currently traded on any exchanges. Once a sufficient number of tokens have been issued, the Company will list them on a few exchanges throughout the world.

“We are excited to offer a new line of coffee and a utility token that appeal to advocates of digital economy. Through this initiative, we aim to create added values for our customers as well as to all coffee market participants,” commented Miki Takeuchi, CEO. “The potential for cooperation, collective growth and improvement of the coffee industry is unlimited. We are looking forward to realizing this new business success which will in turn support the social causes that are dear to us.”

The Company is undergoing reorganization and some of its websites are being redesigned to enhance their identities as well as making the brand building efforts more efficient. Updates regarding the availability of the new sites will be announced as progresses are made.

About Wanderport Corporation

Wanderport Corporation is a multifaceted company and premier producer and distributor of food, beverages and consumer products with a focus on wellness and healthy lifestyle. Its premium quality Healthy coffee blends are currently being sold in a growing number of boutique retail stores and small businesses in the Southern California territory. Its products are also sold online at www.sapacoffee.com, www.wanderbrands.com and www.amazon.com.

For more information, please visit http://www.wanderportcorp.com.

Facebook: wanderportcorporation
Twitter: @wanderportcorp
Instagram: wanderportcorp

Forward Looking Statements:

Statements made herein constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, potential volatility in the company’s stock price, increased competition, customer acceptance of new products and services to be offered by the company, and uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and fluctuations in its quarterly operating efforts. Forward-looking statements are projections of events, revenues, income, future economics, research, development, reformulation, product performance or management’s plans and objectives for future operations. While these forward-looking statements and any assumptions upon which they are based are made in good faith and reflect current judgment regarding the direction of the business operations of Wanderport Corporation, actual results will almost always vary, sometimes materially, from any estimates, predictions, projections, assumptions or other future performance suggested in this press release.

Contact:
Wanderport Corporation
www.wanderportcorp.com

Investor Relations:
Miki Takeuchi
ir@wanderportcorp.com
(310) 526-8720

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To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/72720

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Shariah-Compliant Crypto Exchange Wins License From Bahrain Central Bank

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TipRanks

3 Top Dividend Stocks With Growth Opportunity; Goldman Sachs Says ‘Buy’

Investing is all about finding profits, and investors have long seen two main paths toward that goal. Growth stocks, equities that will give a return based mainly on share price appreciation, are one route. The second route lies through dividend stocks. These are stocks that pay out a percentage of profits back to shareholders – a dividend, usually sent out quarterly. The payments vary widely, from less than 1% to more than 10%, but the average, among stocks listed on the S&P 500, is about 2%. Dividends are a nice addition for a patient investor, as they provide a steady income stream. Goldman Sachs analyst Caitlin Burrows has been looking into the real estate trust segment, a group of stocks long-known for dividends that are both high and reliable – and she sees plenty of reason to expect strong growth in three stocks in particular. Running the trio through TipRanks’ database, we learned that all three have been cheered by the rest of the Street as well, as they boast a “Strong Buy” analyst consensus. Broadstone Net Lease (BNL) First up, Broadstone Net Lease, is an established REIT that went public this past September in an IPO that raised over $533 million. The company put 33.5 million shares on the market, followed by another 5 million-plus picked up by the underwriters. It was considered a successful opening, and BNL now boasts a market cap over $2.63 billion. Broadstone’s portfolio includes 628 properties across 41 US states plus the Canadian province of British Columbia. These properties host 182 tenants and are worth an aggregate of $4 billion. The best feature here is the long-term nature of the leases – the weighted average remaining lease is 10.8 years. During the third quarter, the most recent with full financials available, BNL reported a net income of $9.7 million, or 8 cents per share. The income came mainly from rents, and the company reported collecting 97.9% of rents due during the quarter. Looking ahead, the company expects $100.3 million in property acquisitions during Q4, and an increased rent collection rate of 98.8%. Broadstone’s income and high rent collections are supporting a dividend of 25 cents per common share, or $1 annually. It’s a payment affordable for the company, and offering investors a yield of 5.5%. Goldman’s Burrows sees the company’s acquisition moves as the most important factor here. “Accretive acquisitions are the key earnings driver for Broadstone… While management halted acquisitions following COVID-induced market uncertainty (BNL did not complete any acquisitions in 1H20) and ahead of its IPO, we are confident acquisitions will ramp up in 2021, and saw the beginning of this with 4Q20 activity… We estimate that BNL achieves a positive investment spread of 1.8%, leading to 0.8% of earnings growth (on 2021E FFO) for every $100mn of acquisitions (or 4.2% on our 2021E acquisition volumes),” Burrows opined. To this end, Burrows rates BNL a Buy, and her $23 price target implies an upside of ~27% for the year ahead. (To watch Burrow’s track record, click here) Wall Street generally agrees with Burrows on Broadstone, as shown by the 3 positive reviews the stock has garnered in recent weeks. These are the only reviews on file, making the analyst consensus rating a unanimous Strong Buy. The shares are currently priced at $18.16, and the average price target of $21.33 suggests a one-year upside of ~17%. (See BNL stock analysis on TipRanks) Realty Income Corporation (O) Realty Income is a major player in the REIT field. The company holds a portfolio worth more than $20 billion, with more than 6,500 properties located in 49 states, Puerto Rico, and the UK. Annual revenue exceeded $1.48 billion in fiscal year 2019 (the last with complete data), and has kept up a monthly dividend for 12 years. Looking at current data, we find that O posted 7 cents per share income in 3Q20, along with $403 million in total revenue. The company collected 93.1% of its contracted rents in the quarter. While relatively low, a drill-down to the monthly values shows that rent collection rates have been increasing since July. As noted, O pays out a monthly dividend, and has done so regularly since listing publicly in 1994. The company raised its payout in September 2020, marking the 108th increase during that time. The current payment is 23.45 cents per common share, which annualizes to $2.81 cents – and gives a yield of 4.7%. Based on the above, Burrows put this stock on her Americas Conviction List, with a Buy rating and a $79 price target for the next 12 months. This target implies a 32% upside from current levels. Backing her stance, Burrows noted, “We estimate 5.3% FFO growth per year over 2020E-2022E, versus an average of 3.1% fo rour full REIT coverage. We expect key earnings drivers will include a continued recovery in acquisition volumes and a gradual improvement in theater rents (in 2022).” The analyst added, “We assume O makes $2.8 billion of acquisitions in each of 2021 and 2022, versus the consensus expectation of $2.3 billion. [We] believe our acquisition volume assumptions could in fact turn out to be conservative as, eight days into 2021, the company has already made or agreed to make $807.5 mn of acquisitions (or 29% of our estimate for 2021).” Overall, Wall Street takes a bullish stance on Realty Income shares. 5 Buys and 1 Hold issued over the previous three months make the stock a Strong Buy. Meanwhile, the $69.80 average price target suggests ~17% upside from the current share price. (See O stock analysis on TipRanks) Essential Properties Realty Trust (EPRT) Last up, Essential Properties, owns and manages a portfolio of single-tenant commercial properties across the US. There are 214 tenants across more than 1000 properties in 16 industries, including car washes, convenience stores, medical services, and restaurants. Essential Properties boasts a high occupancy rate of 99.4% for its properties. In 3Q20, the company saw revenue increase of 18.2% year-over-year, reaching $42.9 million. Essential Properties finished the quarter with an impressive $589.4 million in available liquidity, including cash, cash equivalents, and available credit. The strong cash position and rising revenues had the company confident enough to raise the dividend in going into Q4. The new dividend payment is 24 cents per common share, up 4.3% from the previous payment. The current rate annualizes to 96 cents, and gives a yield of 4.6%. The company has been raising its dividend regularly for the past two years. In her review for Goldman, Burrows focuses on the recovery that Essential Properties has made since the height of the COVID panic last year. “When shelter in place mandates went into effect in early 2020, only 71% of EPRT’s properties were open (completely or on a limited basis). This situation has improved in the intervening months and now just 1% of EPRT’s portfolio is closed… We expect EPRT’s future earnings growth to be driven by acquisition accretion and estimate 2.8% potential earnings growth from $100 mn of acquisitions,” Burrows wrote. In line with her optimistic approach, Burrows gives EPRT shares a Buy rating, along with a $26 one-year price target, suggesting a 27% upside. All in all, EPRT has 9 recent analyst reviews, and the breakdown of 8 Buys and 1 Sell gives the stock a Strong Buy consensus rating. Shares are priced at $20.46 and have an average price target of $22.89, giving ~12% upside potential from current levels. (See EPRT stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Crypto-Related Crime Fell To $10 Billion In 2020

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Cryptocurrency-related crime fell in 2020, according to a blog post from Chainalysis.

In 2019, criminal activity constituted 2.1 percent of all crypto transaction volume, which came out to $21.4 billion in transfers.

But that number dropped to 0.34 percent, or $10 billion, by 2020, the report says.

One of the reasons for the shift was that overall economic activity almost tripled between those two years, the blog says. The crimes that ended up driving the change in 2020 were scams and the darknet market, the blog’s stats report. More stats show that scams netted around $2.6 billion, representing 54 percent of the total fraudulent activity that year.

LVL, an upstart bitcoin exchange, has rolled out its own Mastercard debit card which it’s taking pre-orders for, a report from CoinDesk says.

The card will be linked to bitcoin and fiat accounts, and will be one of Mastercard’s premium accounts, able to be used anywhere globally, CEO Chris Slaughter said, according to the report.

The card represents some of LVL’s goals to bring traditional banking services together with crypto for regular consumers. The firm switched from a trading fee system to a subscription service in November 2020, and Slaughter said he thinks the debit card will be a big earner for the company.

Near 30 people in Kyodo, Japan have been charged for reportedly exchanging NEM cryptocurrency for other digital currencies, in spite of knowing the assets had been stolen, a report from The Mainichi says.

The report says there were 58 billion yen in digital money stolen from Coincheck Inc. in January of 2018, and after that, an underground operation emerged, in which the yen were exchanged for other digital currencies on a dark website.

The suspects, according to the report, had been trading at said exchange.

Singapore Exchange (SGX) has entered into a joint venture with Temasek, which is set to be the first exchange-led digital asset venture in Asia focused on capital market workflows through smart contracts, ledger and tokenization tech, according to a press release.

The partnership will utilize SGX’s multi-asset experience and strengths in working with operating market infrastructure, along with Temasek’s work in blockchain and ecosystem connectivity.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: RETAIL BANKING SERVICES’ PARADIGM SHIFT STUDY – JANUARY 2021 

About: The January 2021, Retail Banking Services’ Paradigm Shift Report, PYMNTS examines how consumers choose to engage with their FIs when accessing information about various products and services, especially since the pandemic’s onset.



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