Man, who operated a digital currency investment company three years ago, has gone into hiding after a supposed Bitcoin scam, which significantly raked thousands of the cryptocurrency belonging to investors. Since then, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) could not locate him. Thus, it is planning to settle the pending matter without him.
Over 20,000 Bitcoin scammer went missing since 2017
In 2017, the man in question, Benjamin Reynolds, operated a digital currency investment firm in the United Kingdom, which was dubbed Control-Finance. Similarly to other Bitcoin scams, Control-Finance had lured investors with a promise of high return, precisely 45 percent for their investment, following CFTC’s complaint.
The investment firm was to trade the digital currencies on behalf of the investors; however, this was never the case. The defendant didn’t trade any cryptocurrency on their behalf; hence no profits were earned for the investors. As CFTC noted, the investors were convinced and enticed with fake weekly trading reports.
CFTC plans to proceed with Reynolds
Later in September that same year, the supposed crypto investment firm was abandoned, including its social media accounts. Reynolds informed the victims that their cryptocurrencies were safe and will be reimbursed to them accordingly. However, those funds have not been returned to the investors, as per the report.
With over 1,000 investors, Reynolds raked in about 22,859 BTCs in the Bitcoin scam, despite the business only lasting for about four months (from May to September). Thus, as the CFTC is unable to locate the Bitcoin scammer, they are looking to proceed with the matter, and have filed with the New York Southern District Court.
CFTC is looking to file a motion for default judgment by August 20, against the missing owner of Control-Finance. One of the partners at the United States BakerHostetler, Marc Powers, commented in the report.
In the motion, it is likely that the CFTC will seek a judgment for the full amount of the fraud alleged- $147 million-plus interest from 2017, plus some amount of penalty.
No international manhunt, but once the CFTC obtains a default judgment, they will be able to pursue any available assets (especially those in the United States) to satisfy the judgments, Rebecca Rettig, a partner at US law firm FisherBroyles.