According to a recent report, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has made it known that a Federal Court in Texas has ordered two defendants to pay a fine of $360,000 for a carrying out a fraudulent scheme so as to relieve people of their Bitcoin (BTC).
On 28th June, 2018, Judge Reed C. O’Connor, the presiding Judge at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas reportedly filed an Order and Default Judgement alleging that U.S citizens Kim Hecroft and Morgan Hunt conducted a Ponzi scheme in order to collect Bitcoin from members of the public to invest in trading products such as diamond, foreign currency contracts, and binary options. The suspects allegedly conducted business via firms known as First Options Trading and Diamonds Trading Investment House.
The order specifically alleged that the suspects “falsely claimed that they would use customer funds to invest in trading for the benefit of the customers, misrepresented their experience and track record as traders and portfolio managers, falsely told customers that they could not withdraw their purported investment profits without first paying a tax to the CFTC, and misappropriated customer funds.”
According to the press release, the defendants may not be able to repay victims due to the lack of funds, however, the court has demanded that Hecroft and Hunt pay a compensation fee and they are to pay a $180,000 civil monetary penalty each.
In addition, they are permanently prohibited from trading or registering any crypto-related business.
Meanwhile, the CFTC recently filed a complaint with the New York Southern District Court against the UK-based Control-Finance Ltd, which allegedly scammed over 1,000 investors to launder about 22,858 BTC but has now gone out of business.
According to a recent report from Chainalysis, the amount of Bitcoin spent on illegal transactions in 2019 could hit a record high of $1 billion.