SEC closes in on settlements with United States BitConnect promoters for millions

Four of six U.S.-based promoters of the disreputable BitConnect Ponzi plan have reached settlement agreements with the SEC.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is nearing settlements with four U.S.-based people suspected of promoting the multi-billion dollar crypto Ponzi scheme, BitConnect.

According to Law360, the terms of the settlements are  presently awaiting final approval from John Koeltl. The judge noted that whereas agreements’ terms are presently legally sound, minor fixes  required to be created to make sure they’re “scrupulously correct.”

The agreements embrace a quite $3 million settlement from Joshua Heppensen of Massachusetts and $576,000 from his betrothed Laura Mascola, $526,000 from Ryan Maasen of Oklahoma, and some amount from Michael Noble of California.

The SEC filed a case against six of the scheme’s promoters in May of this year, alleging they offered and sold unregistered securities within the US, as well as advertising BitConnect’s lending platform in testimonial-style videos. The 2 remaining defendants — Trevon Brown of South Carolina, and Craig Grant of Florida— are still to conform to settlement terms with the SEC.

The Law360 report notes that throughout 2017, the corporate lured investors with guarantees of “no risk” returns, attracting them to pledge BTC used as collateral against which they may borrow and trade its local BitConnect Coin.

When the firm closed its lending platform in January 2018 when receiving cease and desist order from state regulators in North Carolina and Texas, investors were unable to redeem their BTC holdings, and were left holding the bag as BitConnect Coin crashed by almost 90%.

BitConnect is among the most important Ponzi schemes to have infiltrated the crypto sector, having duped roughly $2.5 billion from thousands of investors over the span of 1 year.

The fall-out from the scam has been world in reach, with 52-year-old Australian promoter, John Louis Anthony Bigatton, facing six charges carrying penalties of between 2 and 10 years for his role within the theme.