Crypto: AirBit Club execs have pleaded guilty to fraud in $100 million crypto ‘Ponzi scheme’: DOJ

by | Mar 8, 2023 | Stock Market

Several executives of AirBit Club, a so-calledpurported cryptocurrency mining and trading platform, have pleaded guilty in New York for their roles in an international fraud and money laundering scheme, according to a statement from the Department of Justice on Wednesday. Rather than AirBit offering members access to a club that invested in crypto trading and mining, as promised, the DOJ said the platform was a “Ponzi scheme,” designed to use member money “to line their own pockets.”

“The defendants took advantage of the growing hype around cryptocurrency to con unsuspecting victims around the world out of millions of dollars with false promises that their money was being invested in cryptocurrency trading and mining,” said Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in the statement. AirBit Club launched in 2015, and promised investors guaranteed profits in exchange of cash investments, the DOJ said. Pablo Renato Rodriguez, one of the co-founders, pleaded guilty on Wednesday. Another co-founder, Gutemberg Dos Santos pleaded guilty in October 2021, and three promoters involved in the scheme pleaded guilty for their roles earlier this year. Scott Hughes, an attorney who the DOJ claimed helped the co-founders launder money, pleaded guilty earlier this month. They also were ordered to forfeit proceeds from AirBit Club, including U.S. dollars, cryptocurrency, bitcoin an …

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