The crypto space reaches a more disturbing chapter as the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States has agreed for a settlement comprising of above $12M to be paid by defendants Laura Mascola, Michael Noble, and Joshua Jeppesen, who were allegedly involved in the most notorious Ponzi scheme of the crypto history through launching ‘Bitconnect.’ SEC, in an official announcement, stated that Noble and Jeppesen appeared as defendants while Laura Mascola (a partner of Jeppesen) appeared to be a relief defendant.
A settlement of 12$M for a scam of 2.5B
On 28th May of this year, a complaint was introduced by the SEC against Mascola, Noble, and Jeppesen. Some other names were also mentioned by the agency on the same document, including the famous Trevon Jones, Graig Grant, as well as Ryan Maasen. However, the settlement did not mention these three names, which means some files are still unclosed, and the process of investigation has not stopped. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is continuously gathering the required information.
On 13th August 2021, a New York-based Southern District court declared the judgment against the defendants as they were involved in Bitconnect along with its lending promotion. The court ordered the defendants to pay over 190 BTC (Bitcoin) and $3.5 million as a recompense for the settlement. The judgment elaborated that Jeppesen shall be liable to pay $3,039,485 for prejudgment interest and disgorgement along with 190 BTC. He shall also pay $150,000 as a penalty. The judgment continued to say that he must permit access to a BTC wallet to ensure his responsibility for the payment of the compensation.
Michael Noble, according to the judgment, shall give an undeclared amount in prejudgment interest, disgorgement, as well as civil penalties as it would be determined later. Mascola, as per the judgment, shall pay up to $576,358 for prejudgment interest and disgorgement.
Bitconnect: an infamous scam
Bitconnect is considered to be among the most famous Ponzi schemes in crypto history. It reached $2.5B as its accumulative market cap during the later period of 2017 and the initial period of 2018. That peak-era placed it among the ten prominent cryptocurrencies at that time. The organization got world-level popularity through its brilliant market campaign, promises for providing high returns, referral program, as well as a presentation which was funny of all times featuring Carlos Matos (a Latino host and a well-known Meme).