Business 8 January 2019

Dennis Wafula

Australia freezes John Bigatton’s assets in relation to BitConnect

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) have frozen assets belonging to John Bigatton, the only representative for BitConnect Australia. The authority also confined Bigatton to the country until investigations are complete.

An Australian court issued the order to freeze his assets. Those assets include his cryptocurrency holdings and holdings in his investment management firm. According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

“ASIC launched action to freeze Mr. Bigatton’s assets in December. On ASIC’s request, Federal Court justice Michael Gleeson issued orders for Mr. Bigatton to disclose all bank accounts, including a list of the locations of all cryptocurrencies held by him and any escrow accounts holding any cryptocurrencies.”

Bigatton has been facing legal issues since the beginning of last year for his involvement with BitConnect. BitConnect closed down its operations in January 2018 in what many believed to be an exit scheme. Bigatton is a director and shareholder in BitConnect International.

BitConnect, which was launched in 2017, dubbed itself as a crypto lending platform that promised returns of up to 40% per month to its investors. Many promoters promoted the company across the globe including Facebook, YouTube, and other social platforms. Since its closure, BitConnect has been under investigation by several bodies, including the FBI in the US. The bitconnect coin has crashed in value from $440 to 69 cents.

Bigatton was among the promoters advocating for BitConnect. However, his roles seem to be analogous compared to American promoters like Glenn Arcaro, Craig Grant, Trevon James and Ryan Hildreth who received commissions for their efforts but did not take administrative roles. Reportedly, some of the promoters have been arrested, while the Securities and Exchange Commission has questioned others.

In addition to ASIC actions, the financial advisor has more on his mind. Bigatton’s wife is still missing.

Madeline Bigatton went missing last March. Police are investigating and treating the case as a missing person’s case and potential homicide. Madeline was the only shareholder and director of JB’s Investment Management, whose assets have also been frozen. Before her disappearance, Madeline defended her husband, stating that he could only be involved with something if he believed it would bring positive impact to people’s lives.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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