A United States Federal Court Judge has ordered the collapsed bitcoin investment platform Mirror Trading International to pay over $1.7 billion in restitution. Commodity Futures Trading Commission director of enforcement Ian McGinley said the CFTC will not hesitate to go after fraudsters who target U.S. citizens. The Commission again warned that court rulings are not a guarantee that victims will recover all their funds.
Forex Fraud Allegations
United States Federal Court Judge David A. Ezra recently ordered the now-defunct South African bitcoin investment platform Mirror Trading International (MTI) to pay over $1.7 billion in restitution. The order, which stems from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) June 2022 complaint, was issued after the judge determined that MTI had committed forex fraud.
According to the Commission’s Sept. 7 press statement, MTI, which is presently in liquidation, was also found liable for “registration violations and failure to comply with CPO [commodity pool operator] regulations.” Meanwhile, the statement further revealed that Judge Ezra’s order had resolved the CFTC’s case against MTI.
As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, the same U.S. Federal Court had previously issued a default judgment against the former MTI CEO Johann Steynberg. In addition to the restitution, the court also imposed a civil monetary penalty of $1.73 billion — the highest in CFTC’s history.
CFTC to Go After Fraudsters ‘Wherever They May Be’
Commenting on the court’s latest ruling, the Commission’s director of enforcement Ian McGinley said both the default judgement and the settlement with MTI demonstrate the CFTC’s resolve and willingness to take the fight to fraudsters. McGinley also warned that his organization will not hesitate to go after fraudsters who target U.S. citizens.
“Whether a scam involves fictitious electronic trading ‘bots’ or Bitcoins, as this action involving a South African entity shows, we will pursue the scam artists wherever they may be,” the CFTC official warned.
However, just as it cautioned when the default judgment against Steynberg was issued, the CFTC again warned that court rulings are not a guarantee that victims will recover their funds. The Commission said this is primarily because the accused may have “misappropriated, either directly or indirectly, all the Bitcoin they accepted from the pool participants.”
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