CFTC, South Korea crack down on fraud crypto scheme

The United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been pursuing the man behind a $147 million crypto scheme. The regulator launched fraud charges against Benjamin Reynolds, the director of the now-defunct Control-Finance six months ago. However, according to a new report, it has been unable to locate him.

Control-Finance was a crypto scam that managed to lure over 1,000 clients to invest in its bogus BTC products, only to vanish with investor funds. Led by Reynolds, the firm is alleged to have made away with 22,858 BTC which at the time were worth over $147 million. Initially, the firm operated a Ponzi scheme where older clients were paid off with new clients’ money. After close to two years, the firm closed shop, shut down its website and Reynolds vanished with the money.

As a new report by FinanceFeeds reveals, the watchdog hasn’t had any luck in tracking down the alleged scammer. It filed a motion with the New York Southern District Court asking for a 60-day extension to the time limit set by the court for the commission to serve Reynolds.

The motion revealed that the Commission hired the services of solicitors in the U.K. to serve Reynolds at the addresses listed on the firm’s incorporation application, which he had filed with the U.K.’s Registrar. The regulator had also attempted to email Reynolds through his only known email. It had received a bounce-back message, indicating delivery failure due to an unknown address error. Attempts to contact him via his phone were also unsuccessful.

It’s not just the CFTC that’s interested in Reynolds, the outlet revealed. Authorities in South Korea have also been pursuing him, but they haven’t fared any better. The CFTC has been in contact with South Korean authorities to see if they can work together to track Reynolds, but to no avail.

 As CoinGeek reported last year, Control-Finance utilized well-executed marketing techniques to lure investors in, especially through the use of social media. It promised huge daily returns and relied on the Ponzi scheme technique to pay off some early investors. However, its maneuvers soon got exposed and consequently, Reynolds and his crew vanished. They are alleged to have laundered most of the money through CoinPayments, a Vancouver, Canada-based crypto payments processor.

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