The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission is seeking over $572 million from the operator of BTC scam Control-Finance in restitution and penalties. The regulator filed for a default judgment against the company’s owner and sole operator at a New York court.
In its filing with the New York Southern District Court, the CFTC claimed that Benjamin Reynolds had failed to answer its complaint, FinanceFeeds reports. In response, the watchdog filed for a default judgment against Reynolds, requiring him to pay $142,986,589 in restitution. He would also have to pay a civil monetary penalty amounting to $429 million.
Additionally, the regulator proposes that the court permanently prohibits Reynolds from trading or entering into any transactions involving commodity interests or any virtual currency.
The CFTC revealed it would be filing for a default judgment against Reynolds on July 6, 2020. In a letter to the New York Southern District Court, the regulator revealed it had secured a Certificate of Default against Reynolds and that pending the court’s approval, it would file its motion in 45 days.
The CFTC has been pursuing Reynolds and his company for orchestrating a $147 million digital currency Ponzi scheme that dates back to 2017. Control-Finance posed as a digital currency investment firm and managed to lure over 1,000 clients in just months of operation. It relied on online platforms to target its victims, with ads all over Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. On its LinkedIn page, it claims to offer 1.5% daily profits, and close to 50% in monthly returns.
As per the CFTC compliant, the firm would use the investment from the latter stage clients to pay off the initial investors. Less than a year later, it vanished, taking down its website and every other online presence.
The watchdog alleged that Reynolds made away with 22,858 BTC from his investors, which at the time was worth $147 million.
The CFTC has been attempting to track down Reynolds since he disappeared with investors’ funds to no avail.
As CoinGeek reported previously, it’s not just the CFTC that has been pursuing the scammer. South Korean authorities have also been after Reynolds for allegedly defrauding Korean investors. Despite working together with the CFTC, they have not been able to track him down either.
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