Texas' federal court has fined two individuals who ran a fraudulent bitcoin operation.
The defendants, Morgan Hunt and Kim Hecroft, were ordered to pay $180,000 each in civil monetary penalties and restitution to the victims.
Between January 2017 and September 2018, the two men ran a fraudulent scheme soliciting bitcoin via Facebook and email. The men misled their clients about their experience as traders and presented them with a false investment portfolio. They told their customers they couldn’t withdraw their profits without first paying taxes to the CFTC, despite the fact the institution (the Commodity Futures Trading Commission) does not collect taxes. They also posed as CFTC investigators and sent out forged documents purportedly written by the CFTC’s General Counsel.
James McDonald, CFTC Director of Enforcement, warned the public, “retail customers should exercise caution before buying or trading cryptocurrencies on unfamiliar Internet websites or social media."