SEC Charges Four Individuals in Crypto Pyramid Scheme that Targeted Spanish-Speaking Communities

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The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Francisley Valdevino Da Silva, Juan Antonio Tacuri Fajardo, Ramon Antonio Perez Arias, and Jose Ramiro Coronado Reyes for their roles in creating and promoting Forcount Trader Systems, Inc., a fraudulent crypto asset pyramid scheme that raised more than $8.4 million from hundreds of retail investors primarily from Spanish-speaking communities throughout the United States and other countries.

According to the SEC’s complaint, from approximately July 2017 to November 2020, Brazilian national Da Silva and U.S.-based promoters Tacuri, Perez, and Coronado enticed and defrauded investors out of millions of dollars with the promise of guaranteed returns resulting from investments in “memberships” in Forcount Trader Systems. These memberships purportedly gave investors an interest in profits from Forcount’s supposed crypto asset trading and mining operations. Investors could also participate in Forcount’s referral program, which, as the complaint alleges, incentivized recruiting new victims. The complaint alleges that the defendants knew or were reckless in not knowing that Forcount had no crypto asset trading and mining operations and that the only way the scheme could continue was by increasing the investor base. The defendants allegedly accelerated Forcount’s inevitable collapse by misappropriating investor funds to buy themselves homes, cars, and luxury goods.

“As the complaint alleges, Da Silva, Tacuri, Perez, and Coronado deceived investors, most of whom were members of Spanish-speaking communities, with false promises of high returns on crypto-asset related investments,” said Thomas P. Smith, Jr., Co-Acting Regional Director of the New York Regional Office. “Protecting investors from fraudulent pyramid schemes where promoters pitch high returns and complex commission structures is part of the SEC’s mission to make markets fair and open to all.”

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