The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a news release that “it had filed an action against BitConnect, an online crypto lending platform, its founder Satish Kumbhani, and its top U.S. promoter and his affiliated company, alleging that they defrauded retail investors out of $2 billion through a global fraudulent and unregistered offering of investments into a program involving digital assets.” The September 1, 2021 news release entitled “SEC Charges Global Crypto Lending Platform and Top Executives in $2 Billion Fraud” included these comments according to the “SEC’s complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York”:
…from early 2017 through January 2018, Defendants conducted a fraudulent and unregistered offering and sale of securities in the form of investments in a “Lending Program” offered by BitConnect.
The complaint alleges that, to induce investors to deposit funds into the purported Lending Program, Defendants falsely represented, among other things, that BitConnect would deploy its purportedly proprietary “volatility software trading bot” that, using investors’ deposits, would generate exorbitantly high returns.
However, the SEC alleges that instead of deploying investor funds for trading with the purported trading bot, defendants BitConnect and Kumbhani siphoned investors’ funds off for their own benefit by transferring those funds to digital wallet addresses controlled by them, their top promoter in the U.S., defendant Glenn Arcaro, and others.
The SEC’s complaint further alleges that BitConnect and Kumbhani established a network of promoters around the world, and rewarded them for their promotional efforts and outreach by paying commissions, a substantial portion of which they concealed from investors.
According to the complaint, among these promoters was Arcaro, the lead national promoter of BitConnect for the United States who used the website he created, Future Money, to lure investors into the Lending Program.
It will be interesting see what happens in this case and if this ever gets to trial!
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