Ah, that lovely presumption of innocence. The principle has been implemented in law to protect the purity of the legal process, the human right on fair judgement. And it’s absolutely one of the best establishments in defending the rights of the individual. With companies it’s not so simple. Mixing the presumption of innocence for people with the corporate laws is the way the scam works. The presumption of guilt is rather applied in the world of investing.
To accept money from others a company needs to get permission. So the state rightfully considers anyone who tries to get the money without the license as a fraudster. Thus any company needs to prove their innocence first. It is justified: it’s better to deal with investment fraud pre-emptively than deal with the defrauded investors afterwards.
There is a simple list of checks that allows us, as well as anybody who might be interested in it, to uncover the fake company. We’ll show how to spot an investment scam on a live project, a certain JKR.CO website, which offers investment opportunities and in the same time co-ownership startup incubator services as well as many others. Jkr.co will not be the last one in our new series. But it will have the honour to be the first in the line.
JKR.co website – a treasure of corporate lingo
Alas, Jkr.co is currently unavailable. It seems to have been shut down by the hosting company. However if we retrieve a stored Google cache of it we will be rewarded with marvels, including but not limited to:
- ‘strong team and an excellent leadership’;
- ‘our vision to invest in founders on fire for their ideas’ [?];
- ‘exciting M&A opportunities’;
- …and of course a trigger word for the scam: ‘an ecosystem’!
In fact, what JKR.co offers to investors is to put their money in online gambling, betting and such. High returns and so on.
At the same time JKR.co promises patronage for developers of gambling software and monetisation of the ‘ideas’.
Everything is accompanied by abstract promises and wrapped in vague wording and. At the same time there is nothing that proves that the company has a license to borrow money from investors.
The people behind JKR.co
The Crunchbase lists a single employee, Nikola Teofilovic from Serbia. From the press we know that Alexander Gusev is the CEO and Co-Founder of Jkr.co investment company. And that both are heavily involved in betting and online gaming that is almost universally prohibited or at least tightly controlled in Ukraine, where the company is rooted. It makes the prospect of successful investment even thinner, as authorities may intervene in any second.
Indeed, the leaders of JKR are rumoured to be on close terms with the authorities and those of the nearly almighty Office of the President V. Zelensky. But are these rumours substantiated? And does Zelensky really know those people and will cover them up from the rule of law?
The publicity of JKR.co
JKR.co is noticed in buying press attention, using cheapest ways: by disseminating releases. It also offers some opportunities for bloggers and small media by paying ten pounds per article about ‘enormous opportunities’ of being a partner of the JKR. Most of the authors don’t even dive into the subject.
Questionable gambling legality, doubts about compliance, dubious press coverage, vague wording and lack of licenses make JKR.co check all boxes for a good old scam.