Another Ponzi scheme dismantled – America is no laughing matter with those who try to rip off their fellow citizens. They even go looking for those responsible far from the American borders. This time, it was as far as Panama that the US justice struck, by extraditing one of the main persons responsible for the AirBit Club crypto-scam.
Tens of millions of dollars embezzled
Unfortunately, pyramid scam schemes abound in the cryptosphere, which is teeming with inexperienced investors. In a recent press release, the Department of Justice of the Southern District of New York just announced he has done extradite the co-founder of one of these Ponzis .
Gutemberg Dos Santos , who has dual Brazilian and American nationality, was first arrested in Panama , before being returned to the United States .
With 5 other people, he is accused of having set up a fake company proposing to invest in the mining and trading of cryptomonnaies :
“Gutemberg Dos Santos played a key role in an investment scam of international scope that promised extraordinary rates of return on phantom cryptocurrency investments, defrauding victims of tens of millions of dollars. “
A subscription scam
Investors, victims of Dos Santos and his accomplices, were encouraged to invest in AirBit Club on the basis of the promise of „guaranteed“ profits in exchange for cash investments in the different levels of club memberships .
Since 2015 , they have encouraged more and more members to join their fake club, thanks to multilevel marketing (MLM) which rewarded members for recruiting new people.
In fact, the money collected from AirBit Club members was used by Dos Santos and his accomplices to afford „luxury cars, jewelry and houses“ and to finance lavish conferences to promote the club, to attract more victims in their net.
The defendants also worked to launder the theft from their system, through several domestic and foreign bank accounts . The judicial authorities estimate that at least 20 million dollars have been laundered.
Dos Santos will face 3 charges , for electronic fraud , money laundering and conspiracy to bank fraud . He faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the first 2 charges and 30 years in prison for the third.