CFTC Orders Bitcoin Fraudster to Pay Record $3.4B Penalty in Largest-Ever Case

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CFTC Orders Bitcoin Fraudster to Pay Record $3.4B Penalty in Largest-Ever Case

CFTC Fraudster to Pay $3.4B – The CEO of Mirror Trading International Proprietary Limited (MTI), Cornelius Johannes Steynberg, has been ordered by a Texas court to pay a stunning $3.4 billion in connection with a massive Bitcoin fraud case.

Half of that sum will be used as part of the settlement to compensate victims of MTI’s fraudulent actions, and the other half will be used to pay the biggest civil monetary fine ever imposed by the CFTC.

According to the CFTC, an order of default judgment and permanent injunction against Steynberg and MTI has been entered by Judge Lee Yeakel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

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The agency conceded, however, that “orders requiring payment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.”

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In the summer of 2022, the CFTC first filed charges against Steynberg and his business.

In accordance with the directive, Steynberg participated in an international deceptive multilevel marketing (MLM) scam to solicit Bitcoin from the general public for participation in an unauthorized commodity pool run by the South African company MTI.

Steynberg, who is MTI’s controlling person, and the business falsely claimed to trade retail currency off-exchange using a custom “bot” or piece of software from roughly May 2018 to roughly March 2021.

The order for final judgment states that the defendants either directly or indirectly misappropriated all of the Bitcoin they received from pool participants.

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The CFTC discovered that Steynberg accepted at least 29,421 Bitcoin, valued at over $1.7 billion at the end of March 2021, from at least 23,000 people in the US and abroad to participate in the commodity pool without being registered as a commodity pool operator (CPO), as required by law. Steynberg did this both as an individual and as the principal and agent of MTI.

According to the release, Steynberg has been detained in Brazil since December 2021 as a result of an Interpol arrest warrant and is still wanted by South African police.

Steynberg is permanently prohibited from registering with the CFTC or trading in any markets that are subject to CFTC regulation, in addition to the accusations that the CFTC has brought against him.

As a result, Steynberg will not be permitted to engage in any activity that involves trading in commodities futures, options, or swaps or in retail foreign exchange trading, among other CFTC-regulated activities.

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