The SEC has struck settlement agreements with four of the six US-based promoters of the infamous BitConnect Ponzi scam.
The details of the settlements are presently pending final approval from Judge John Koeltl, according to Law360. While the wording of the agreements is now lawful, the judge stated that modest changes are required to guarantee that they are entirely correct.
Joshua Heppensen of Massachusetts received more than $3 million-plus $576,000 from his girlfriend, Laura Mascola. Ryan Maasen of Oklahoma received $526,000, and Michael Noble of California received an undisclosed sum.
In May of this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against six of the scheme’s promoters, saying that they marketed and sold unregistered securities in the United States, including touting BitConnect’s lending platform in testimonial-style films. The SEC has yet to agree with the two remaining defendants, Trevon Brown of South Carolina and Craig Grant of Florida.
The firm enticed investors with promises of no-risk profits throughout 2017, according to the Law360 article, encouraging them to offer BTC as collateral against which they could borrow and trade its BitConnect Coin.
Investors could not redeem their BTC holdings after the business unexpectedly halted its lending platform in January 2018 after obtaining a cease and desist order from state authorities in North Carolina and Texas and were left holding the bag as BitConnect Coin swiftly fell by more than 90%.
BitConnect is one of the greatest Ponzi scams to have invaded the crypto industry, having deceived thousands of investors out of $2.5 billion over a year.
The scam’s repercussions have been far-reaching, with 52-year-old Australian promoter John Louis Anthony Bigatton facing six counts carrying sentences ranging from two to 10 years in prison for his participation in the fraud.