CFTC Hits Wall Trying to Serve Bitcoin Fraud Summons

In new filings, the CFTC alleges that former bitcoin binary options trader accused of fraud is trying to avoid authorities.

Mar 21, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:43 a.m. UTC

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is having trouble serving a court summons to a binary options trader charged in January with stealing more than $1 million in bitcoin.

The U.S. commodities regulator claimed in a court filing Tuesday that Dillon Michael Dean is avoiding their attempts to present him with the summons. The CFTC is now asking the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York to give it permission to use email or an alternative method to serve Dean with the complaint, alleging that existing methods are proving difficult to perform.

Dean was sued for fraud in January, when the CFTC alleged that Dean and his company, Entrepreneurs Headquarters Limited, misappropriated more than $1.1 million in bitcoin from a pooled investment scheme, defrauding some 600 participants in the process, as previously reported.

The agency said Wednesday:

"For the reasons stated in the memorandum of law, the Commission respectfully requests that the Court enter an Order authorizing the Commission to serve Dean with the summons and complaint by email, or by other alternative or additional means set forth therein; or in the alternative an Order declaring that the Commission’s prior attempts to serve Dean, either by leaving the summons and complaint with a suitable adult at Dean’s last known residence or by prior email to Dean, constituted valid service of process nunc pro tunc."

In January, the CFTC noted that Dean and his company claimed their customers would receive their funds – or were in the process of receiving their funds – even though customers were unable to withdraw their investments. Dean and the company also allegedly lied about a website hack in 2017 in a further effort to hide the theft of funds from the company's customers.

On top of the fraud charges, Entrepreneurs Headquarters failed to register as a commodity pool operator, according to the lawsuit.

Justice image via Shutterstock

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