The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit against five individuals in connection with BitConnect for promoting and selling unregistered securities.
- BitConnect is a notorious cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that stole billions of dollars from investors, making it one of the biggest scams in the crypto industry.
- The SEC alleges that the defendants helped market BitConnect’s global unregistered securities sales, raising over $2 billion from retail investors.
- The defendants are U.S.-based Trevon Brown (a.k.a. Trevon James), Craig Grant, Ryan Maasen, Michael Noble (a.k.a. Michael Crypto), and U.S.-based Joshua Jeppesen.
- According to the filing, BitConnect used the defendants to promote and sell tokens in its “lending program” via social media, conferences, and testimonials between January 2017 and January 2018.
- The regulator claims that the defendants violated federal securities laws by promoting and selling securities that were not registered with the Commission.
- “We allege that these defendants unlawfully sold unregistered digital asset securities by actively promoting the BitConnect lending program to retail investors. We will seek to hold accountable those who illegally profit by capitalizing on the public’s interest in digital assets,” said Lara Shalov Mehraban, Associate Regional Director of SEC’s New York Regional Office.
- The SEC is seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement plus interest, and civil penalties.
- Meanwhile, in 2020, Australia’s corporate regulator banned a local from operating in the financial sector because of his involvement in the notorious crypto scam – BitConnect.