Chinese Police Seize $4.2 Billion in Multiple Cryptocurrencies From Plustoken Ponzi Clampdown

Chinese Police Seize $4.2 Billion in Multiple Cryptocurrencies From Plustoken Ponzi ClampdownChinese police have seized more than $4.2 billion worth of crypto assets in its clampdown against the Plustoken Ponzi scheme. According to a court ruling made public on Nov. 26, and shared by The Block, law enforcement confiscated a total of 194,775 bitcoin (BTC), 833,083 ether (ETH), 1.4 million litecoin (LTC), and 27.6 million EOS. […]

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Aussie Bitconnect promoter faces prison following ASIC investigation

The Australian is facing six charges that carry penalties of between 2-10 years in prison.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has charged the former Australian national representative of BitConnect for his involvement in the multi-billion-dollar crypto Ponzi scheme following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, or ASIC.

According to a Nov. 17 statement from the ASIC, the commission — with assistance from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation — recommended charges against John Louis Anthony Bigatton for his role working for BitConnect from August 2017 through January 2018.

He faces four courts of making misleading or false statements that had an influence on market participation, one count of operating an unregistered managed investment scheme, and one count of providing unlicensed financial services.

Each charge concerning making false statements can carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison with the other two charges carry penalties of up to 5 and 2 years, respectively. This means the BitConnect promoter, age 52, would be potentially looking at a life sentence if sentenced consecutively, but Australian courts are more likely to have the sentences run concurrently, meaning he faces up to 10 years in prison.

In September, ASIC banned Bigatton from providing financial services for seven years, stating he was “not adequately trained, or is not competent, to provide a financial service or financial services.”

Bitconnect was one of the biggest and most notorious Ponzi schemes in the crypto space. The project duped thousands of people into investing by offering unrealistically high returns on lending using its native token. The lending platform collected roughly $2.5 billion before shutting down in January 2018 in response to a cease-and-desist order from the Texas State Securities Board.

The investigation into Bigatton’s involvement in the scheme also began in 2018, when the Federal Court of Australia froze his assets and placed travel restrictions on the Australian national. Bigatton purportedly earned up to $100,000 through his role in the Bitconnect scam.

Biggaton’s case will return to court on February 2. Authorities are also reportedly opening an unrelated investigation into the disappearance of his wife, who vanished in March 2018.

This story was updated to reflect the fact that Australian prison sentences are usually served concurrently.

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Nigerian Authorities Put Mastermind of the Inksnation Crypto Scam on Wanted List

Nigerian Authorities Put Mastermind of the Inksnation Crypto Scam on Wanted ListNigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seeking the public’s help in locating Omotade Sparks Amos Sewanu, the mastermind behind the Inksnation crypto scam. According to a notice published in the local media on November 11, the EFCC wants Sewanu to respond to fraud charges relating to Inksnation’s purported crypto token- Pinkoin. The Inksnation […]

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Philippines Regulator Warns Investors to Steer Clear of Mining City’s Bitcoin Vault Ponzi

There’s a mining contract scheme people are discussing and making the rounds on the web called “Mining City” or “Bitcoin Vault.” The Philippines SEC recently put out a warning against the operation and the alleged masterminds behind the project. One thing is for sure, there’s been a number of crypto Ponzi operations over the years, […]

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OneCoin movie starring Kate Winslet coming soon

If the courtroom drama of OneCoin is not enough, you’ll soon see the whole thing play out on the big screen.

Even as the OneCoin Ponzi scheme makes its way through the courts, a movie about it is now in development with a Titanic lead star. 

As reported by Deadline, Kate Winslet has signed on to star and produce Fake!, a movie based on an unpublished book by Jen McAdam and Douglas Thompson. McAdam, a victim of the OneCoin scheme, will be a producer on the film. 

Fake! will be written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, who helmed The Report, a political drama based on the CIA’s report on torture post 9/11, and wrote the 2011 pandemic movie Contagion, which also starred Winslet. 

OneCoin was founded in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova in Bulgaria. As Cointelegraph previously reported, OneCoin followed the typical structure of a multilevel marketing scheme, but with a cryptocurrency twist. It promised OneCoin is the next Bitcoin though it wasn’t backed by a blockchain or a network. Despite several warnings from crypto industry insiders and government agencies, OneCoin continued to be popular, fostering an ‘us vs. them’ mentality. 

McAdam, who started a support group for OneCoin victims, told Cointelegraph she and her friends and family invested and lost over 250,000 euros ($298,800) before she learned its server was not a blockchain and could not create crypto. 

Ignatova was charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering on May 7, but she has not been seen since 2017. Her brother Konstantin Ignatova, an executive in OneCoin, was charged with the same in March. He has since agreed to testify against his sister. Investors have sued OneCoin for fraud alleging losses of up to $5 billion. 

Fake! is not the first artwork inspired by the OneCoin scheme. A TV show based on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) podcast about Ignatova is also in development. 

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