A US citizen was charged by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with committing a $7 million Bitcoin (BTC) fraud.
According to a press release, the accused’s name is Jon Barry Thompson, who is a resident of Easton, Pennsylvania. The CFTC regulator “knowingly or recklessly making false representations to customers in connection with the purported purchase of Bitcoins worth over $7 million.”
The CFTC stated that in 2018, Thompson convinced two customers to send him around $7 million for the purchase of bitcoin after he misled them that he or the company-owned and that customers’ money would be safeguarded.
From the document, we learn that Thompson and his affiliate company did not own or control any of the Bitcoins he promised to send to his two clients. Thompson denied all of the charges brought to him.
The case was presented before a court audience in relation to the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement Virtual Currencies Task Force.
“Fraudulent schemes, like that alleged in this case, undermine the integrity of new and innovative markets and cheat innocent people out of their hard-earned money,” said CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald.
The agency then claimed that after the clients’ funds were received, Thompson immediately transferred the money digitally to various third parties. None of the clients received their promised BTC and neither had their funds been safeguarded as guaranteed.
Other accusations include lying to customers about where the Bitcoins were stored, why the transaction was not completed, and fund status.
The CFTC is seeking “restitution, disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, as charged.”
In a statement related to the case, James McDonald noted:
“Rooting out misconduct involving crypto assets is essential to furthering the responsible development of this nascent space. The CFTC will continue to work to hold fraudsters accountable, and where appropriate, operate in parallel with our criminal law enforcement colleagues.”
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