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Australian Financial Watchdog Bans Local BitConnect Promoter for 7 Years

The Australian man was banned from working in financial services by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Sep 7, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:52 a.m. UTC

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.

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