An Australian man has received a seven-year ban by the country’s financial watchdog for his involvement with BitConnect, an alleged Ponzi scheme.
- As reported by the Financial Standard, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), New South Wales resident John Bigatton may not work in financial services for the multi-year period.
- An investigation is still ongoing, per the report.
- ASIC made the ruling after it was discovered Bigatton had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in promoting BitConnect.
- Bigatton was an Australian national representative of cryptocurrency platform BitConnect, as well as its investment scheme BitConnect Lending Platform, between 2017 and 2018.
- Over that time, the watchdog alleges Bigatton provided unlicensed financial product advice that was deceptive, misleading or likely to mislead investors, regarding the BitConnect scheme.
- ASIC found Bigatton not to be a "fit and proper person to provide financial services," "not adequately trained" and was "likely to contravene a financial services law."
- Bigatton now has the right to appeal ASIC's decision at Australia's Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
- BitConnect was a cryptocurrency investment scheme that encouraged investors to exchange bitcoin for its own BitConnect Coin (BCC) promising high-interest returns.
- It has been alleged to be a fraud in various lawsuits.
- In January 2018, the Texas State Securities Board ordered BitConnect to cancel another planned token sale, ruling the proposed token qualified as an unregistered security.
- Weeks later, BCC's price collapsed amid news BitConnect's lending and exchange operation was shutting down.
- That came after state regulators issued cease and desist orders over the scheme's failure to register its services and offerings under securities rules.