The U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission is pushing for an entry of default against the perpetrators of a $33 million digital currency scam. It claims that the time for the defendants to respond to the lawsuit has expired.
The regulator is suing Q3, a startup that claimed to invest in digital currencies, and its founder Michael Ackerman for scamming over 150 investors. In its complaint, the CFTC claims that Ackerman lied to investors that he would invest in digital currencies but ended up channeling the money to his personal account.
Now, the regulator wants the court to grant an entry of default against the firm and its founder. As Finance Feeds reported, the CFTC filed motions with a New York court seeking a Clerk’s Certificate of Default against the defendants. In its motion, the CFTC claims that it has properly served the defendants but they have failed to respond within the acceptable timeline.
A default judgment is requested when the defendants fail to respond to a lawsuit within 90 days.
The CFTC sued Ackerman and his two companies, Q3 Holdings and Q3 1, LP in February for fraud. In its lawsuit, the regulator claimed that Ackerman raised over $33 million from August 2017 to December 2019 to invest in digital currencies. With his co-conspirators, they lied to their investors that they would generate 5% in daily trading profits. They would do this using trading algorithms that generated winning trades 75% of the time, they claimed.
However, the defendants only sent a small portion of the funds to digital currency exchanges. They didn’t generate the profits they promised. To conceal their fraud, they provided false accounting statements that showed a thriving company.
At around the same time that the CFTC filed the charges, the SEC filed a similar lawsuit against Ackerman for violating securities laws. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also revealed it had arrested Ackerman for wire fraud.
As CoinGeek reported, Ackerman channeled over $7.5 million to his personal account. He used this money on jewelry, luxury vehicles, house repairs and personal security. His co-conspirators also took home a huge share of the investors’ funds.
The SEC recommended disgorgement of ill gains, a penalty and a ban on Ackerman from participating in any financial capacity. If found guilty of money laundering and wire fraud, he could be behind bars for up to 20 years.
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