US CFTC Settles Largest Bitcoin Forex Fraud Case

US CFTC Settles Largest Bitcoin Forex Fraud Case

In a recent development, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that it has settled what can be described as the largest Bitcoin (BTC) forex fraud case in history.

Consent Order Issued Against MTI

On September 6, 2023, Judge David A. Ezra of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas entered a consent order finding Mirror Trading International Proprietary Limited (MTI) liable for a litany of charges. 

The charges include fraud in connection with retail Foreign currency (Forex) transactions, fraud by a Commodity Pool Operator (CPO), registration violations, and failure to comply with CPO regulations. The roots of this case can be traced back to a CFTC complaint filed on June 30, 2022, alleging MTI’s involvement in fraudulent activities. 

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the consent order is the requirement for MTI to pay more than a staggering $1.7 billion in restitution to the defrauded victims. Additionally, the consent order also imposes permanent trading bans on MTI in any CFTC-regulated markets. 

Furthermore, the order includes a registration ban against MTI, which effectively prevents the company from participating in any future CPO activities.

Remarkably, this civil monetary penalty is the highest ever ordered in any CFTC case, underscoring the severity of the wrongdoing. This verdict underscores the CFTC’s commitment to ensuring that perpetrators of financial fraud face the consequences of their actions. 

Background of the CFTC Case Against MTI

According to the order, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg, both individually and as the controlling figure behind MTI, orchestrated a far-reaching international multilevel marketing scheme. The primary aim of this scheme was to solicit Bitcoin from unsuspecting individuals, enticing them to participate in an unregistered commodity pool operated by MTI. 

This unregistered commodity pool claimed to engage in off-exchange, retail forex trading using what the defendants falsely presented as proprietary trading software or “bot.” 

During the nearly three-year period, Steynberg and agent of MTI, managed to solicit an astounding 29,421 Bitcoin from participants. At the end of this timeframe, the total value of these Bitcoin holdings exceeded a staggering $1,733,838,372. 

The CFTC’s relentless pursuit of justice in this case was aimed at addressing the grievances of over 23,000 individuals from the U.S. who were victimized by MTI.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture. Follow him on Twitter, Linkedin

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