South Africa’s Mirror Trading BTC scam to pay $1.7B in CFTC case

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The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has imposed $1.7 billion in restitutions against a South African BTC scam in the agency’s largest fraud scheme case involving digital assets.

A court in the Western District of Texas ordered Mirror Trading International (MTI) to pay $1.733 billion in restitution, concluding an action the CFTC lodged in June last year.

MTI allegedly solicited investment from thousands of investors, over 23,000 of whom were from the U.S. Operating a multi-level marketing scam, the company raised 30,000 BTC from investors. It promised them guaranteed profits, which it claimed came from proprietary trading practices that ‘never made any losses.’

However, as with most other BTC scams, the money never went to trading. Instead, founder Cornelius Johannes Steynberg and other co-conspirators channeled the money to their personal expenses. They also used some funds from late-stage investors to make interest payments to early investors in a Ponzi scheme fashion.

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