The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a default judgment against a U.K. based individual, for operating a racket to solicit Bitcoin [BTC, +2.65%] from members of the general public and misappropriated that bitcoin, the CFTC [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] added within an official release.
In line with the court’s 2nd March order, Benjamin Reynolds, purportedly of Manchester, England, was ordered to pay nearly $143 Mln in restitution to defrauded users and a civil monetary penalty of $429 Mln, the CFTC added.
Reynolds is also permanently enjoined from engaging in conduct that violates the Commodities Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, registering with the CFTC, and trading in any CFTC-regulated markets.
Between May 2017 and October 2017, Reynolds used an internet site, social media accounts, and email to solicit a minimum of 22,190.542 bitcoin, valued at about $143 Mln at the time, from over 1k users globally, including a min of 169 individuals living within the U.S., consistent with the official release.
Additionally, Reynolds falsely represented that his firm traded customer bitcoin deposits in virtual currency markets and employed specialized virtual currency traders who generated guaranteed trading profits.
The judgment is the result of a 2019 enforcement action brought forward by the CFTC.