According to the complaint filed by The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), UK-based cryptocurrency company Control-Finance Limited and its CEO Benjamin Reynolds misappropriated $147 million in bitcoin, Finance Feeds writes. The defendants have been charged with fraud.
CFTC claims in 2017 Control-Finance and Reynolds defrauded more than 1,000 people out of 22,858.822 bitcoin (~$147 million). Victims were asked to exchange their funds for bitcoin and deposit them with Control-Finance. The company promised returns on investment, with “guaranteed daily trading profits.” It claimed to have employed advertised claiming to have employed “expert virtual currency traders.”
The company allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme, diverting some of the funds while telling customers they were profits generated from their investments. CFTC says it also ran a pyramid scheme it advertised as an “Affiliate Program.”
The alleged scam operated from at least May 1, 2017 to Oct. 31, 2017; afterwards, the company’s website and social media were taken down, and customers stopped receiving their rewards. The defendants failed to return their clients’ funds, purportedly making off with approximately $150 million.
CFTC launched the action against the firm, seeking “civil monetary penalties and ancillary relief, including but not limited to permanent trading and registration bans, restitution, and disgorgement.”