The Commodity Futures Exchange Commission (CFTC) has charged two individuals and a Las Vegas-based business in connection with a cryptocurrency scam.
The agency accused Randall Crater, Mark Gillespie, as well as My Big Coin Pay, Inc., of taking customer funds and transferring that money into their personal accounts. Additionally, the defendants allegedly used those funds "for personal expenses and the purchase of luxury goods."
According to the CFTC statement, the defendants misappropriated more than $6 million from their customers, with those funds having been solicited between 2014 and 2018. The defendants were also accused of mischaracterizing the true nature of the project, including claims that it was backed by gold holdings and that it had a partnership with MasterCard.
My Big Coin's website offers a number of cryptocurrency-related services, including the ability to buy and sell as well as mine the "My Big Coin" cryptocurrency. A blog on the site hasn't been updated since last June.
CFTC enforcement director James McDonald said in a statement:
"As this case shows, the CFTC is actively policing the virtual currency markets and will vigorously enforce the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act. In addition to harming customers, fraud in connection with virtual currencies inhibits potentially market-enhancing developments in this area."
The suit was originally filed on Jan. 16 but had been kept under seal. Last week, the agency filed two other lawsuits against alleged cryptocurrency fraudsters but that third one – which was disclosed at the time – had yet to be revealed.
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