SEC Secures Judgments Against 3 in Bitconnect Scam

One individual must pay more than $3 million and hand over a wallet containing 190 bitcoins.

Aug 20, 2021 at 5:53 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:43 p.m. UTC

Two more individuals involved in the alleged Bitconnect Ponzi scheme, Joshua Jeppesen and Michael Noble, and a relief defendant, Laura Mascola, must collectively pay more than $3.5 million and hand over 190 bitcoins after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) obtained judgments against them. 

The SEC said that Jeppesen acted as a liaison between Bitconnect’s leadership and promoters and appeared at conferences and promotional events to represent Bitconnect. He must pay over $3 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. He must also pay a $150,000 penalty and hand over a bitcoin wallet to “satisfy his obligation” to pay back 190 bitcoins.

Bitconnect, which operated between January 2017 and January 2018, allegedly used a network of promoters to sell $2 billion worth of unregistered securities. Promoters received commissions, similar to multilevel marketing contractors, for recruiting investors. 

According to the SEC, Noble, who also went by the name “Michael Crypto,” promoted Bitconnect and sold unregistered securities as part of its fraudulent “lending program.” The judgment against Noble is not final yet, and the disgorgement he must pay will be determined at a later date. 

Both Noble and Jeppesen are permanently barred from offering, operating or participating in certain marketing and sales programs as well as digital asset securities offerings.

The SEC identified Mascola as Jeppesen’s fiancee. The agency said that Mascola, who was not otherwise involved with Bitconnect, received upward of $500,000 in ill-gotten cash and bitcoin from Jeppesen. Mascola’s judgment orders her to pay $576,358 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

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