Five Americans have been roped in by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for promoting an elaborate Bitconnect Ponzi scheme. The SEC claims that these people promoted the scheme as global unregistered digital assets securities. The scheme raised about $2 billion in the process. People had lost all their money when the scheme crashed in 2018.
These promoters are Trevon Brown, Craig Grant, Ryan Maasen, Michael Noble, and one other. SEC released a statement about the case that read “The SEC’s complaint alleges that these promoters offered and sold the securities without registering the securities offering with the Commission, and without being registered as broker-dealers with the Commission, as required by the federal securities laws,”.
The SEC said that the accused had publicized the scheme when they released the videos of them in an almost testimonial style. In return, these promoters got a commission which ranged between 0.2 to 5%. SEC said, “Brown obtained at least $480,000, Grant over $1.3 million, Maasen over $475,000, and Noble over $730,000 as “referral commissions” and “development funds” from promoting and touting investments into BitConnect’s lending program to retail investors,”.
Bitconnect has closed its door citing bad press and regulatory investigations as core reasons. They have been accused of performing an exit scam. The company took almost $14.5 million with it when it exited the market.
SEC is now seeking injunctions, civil penalties, and disgorgement with interest for these accused.