The U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission has obtained an asset freeze order against three individuals alleged to have operated a $12 million digital currency scam. The three sold interests in a fake digital currency block reward mining scheme, but directed the investments into personal needs. In its complaint, the regulator accused the three of the operating three multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses from July 2017 to November 2019. The first was in Modern Money Team, a cloud mining operation that paid out monthly interest to its investors. Investors could join for as little as $50 or subscribe to a \u201clifetime contract\u201d for just $2,000. They could pay in fiat or through digital assets. This business generated $3.25 million. They then moved on to \u201ccryptocurrency trading packages.\u201d These packages ranged from $20-$500 for a maximum period of two years. The SEC alleged that the three\u2014Daniel Putman, Jean Paul Ramirez and Angel Rodriguez\u2014misappropriated the investors\u2019 funds. In one instance, Putnam transferred $133,752 worth of BTC into his Trezor hardware wallet, according to the regulator. This is despite signing contracts that stated he would not touch the investors\u2019 money and that he\u2019d only be compensated from the profits he generated. The watchdog further claims that the three lied about their association with the SEC. Putnam, who was the head of the operation, allegedly claimed that the trading packages were SEC compliant. The SEC clarified, \u201cContrary to this representation, Putnam filed no registration statements with the Commission with respect to the trading packages, nor had he taken any other steps to assure compliance with Commission statutes or rules.\u201d Additionally, the regulator retrieved some of the WhatsApp messages between Putnam and Rodriguez in which the former stated, \u201cWe are going to bring Jean Paul so much money this year . . . We are either going to retire this year or go to jail . . . And I\u2019m still not sure any of it is real.\u201d The SEC recommended to the court that the three disgorge all ill-gotten gains, pay a civil penalty and be permanently barred from directly or indirectly engaging in securities transactions.