Federal Trade Commission reaches settlement with 4 promoters it accused of running fraudulent crypto schemes

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the country’s trade regulator, has settled charges it filed last year against four promoters for allegedly operating fraudulent cryptocurrency investment schemes.

Three of the four men - Thomas Dluca, Eric Pinkston, Louis Gatto, were involved in two referral schemes - Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network - which falsely promised participants large returns, the FTC alleged at the time. The fourth men, Scott Chandler, was accused of promoting Bitcoin Funding Team as well as another alleged scam called Jetcoin.

As part of the settlement announced Thursday, Dluca will pay $453,932, Chandler will pay $31,000, and Pinkston will only pay $29,491 out of the total amount $461,035, due to his inability to pay the full amount. However, if Pinkston is later found to have misrepresented his finances, he will be required to pay the full amount, the FTC said.

Besides monetary fines, all the four men have been permanently barred from operating, participating in, or assisting others in promoting any multi-level marketing program, pyramid, Ponzi, or chain referral scheme, per the announcement.