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US Regulator Charges South African MTI and Its Operator With $1.7 Billion Fraud Involving Bitcoin – Regulation Bitcoin News


The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has charged Mirror Trading International (MTI) and its operator with $1.7 billion in bitcoin-related fraud. The action is the biggest case of crypto-related fraud by the regulator.

CFTC takes action against MTI

The CFTC announced Thursday that it has charged “South Africa pool executives and executives with $1.7 billion in bitcoin-related fraud.” The regulator added:

This action is the largest case of CFTC fraud involving bitcoin.

The derivatives watchdog has filed a civil enforcement action, charging Cornelius Johannes Steynberg and Mirror Trading International Proprietary Ltd. (MTI) on “fraud and registration violations”.

From approximately 18 May 2018 to 20 March last year, “Steynberg, personally and as controller of MTI, engaged in an international deceptive multi-level marketing scheme. … to solicit bitcoin from members of the public participating in the commodity pool run by MTI,” the CFTC detailed, explaining:

During this time period, Steynberg… accepted at least 29,421 bitcoins – with a value of over $1,733,838,372 at the end of the period.

The notice further states that the CFTC “seeks full compensation against fraudulent investors, failure of improper profits, civil monetary penalties, permanent residency registration and trading bans, and permanent injunction for future violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and the CFTC Regulation.”

Derivatives watchdog described:

The defendants appropriated, directly or indirectly, all the bitcoins they received from the group participants.

The CFTC concluded: “Sternberg was a fugitive from South African law enforcement, but was recently detained in the Federal Republic of Brazil under an Interpol arrest warrant.”

What do you think of the CFTC’s action against MTI and its operator? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

An Austrian Economics student, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects, and the intersection of economics and cryptography.




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