November 17, 2020 | AtoZ Markets –The Australian man whose wife mysteriously disappeared has been charged by police for allegedly conning people to invest in a failed cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that torched $3.4 billion of investment worldwide. The offenses he's been charged with carries jail terms of up to ten years.
BitConnect promoter John Bigatton charged
John Louis Anthony Bigatton, 52, who is an alleged Australian promoter of BitConnect, was charged with a range of offenses following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
According to the regulator, the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) assisted ASIC in its investigation.
Read also: ASIC Bans Former BitConnect Representative for Seven Years
Mr Bigatton's charges were announced as ASIC comes under increasing pressure over the large number of high-risk online investment platforms that have been subject to either a large number of consumer complaints or allegations of unconscionable conduct.
BitConnect was an online currency platform with a market capitalization of $2.5 billion. BitConnect collapsed in early 2018 wiping out that investment.
At the height of his success with BitConnect, Mr Bigatton had danced on stage at a convention in Asia as cash rained down from the roof. Australian Federal Police have now charged Mr Bigatton, from the southern Sydney suburb of Carss Park, is yet to enter a plea.
He has been charged with four counts of making a false or misleading statement affecting market participation, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years for each charge. He has also been charged with one count of operating an unlicensed scheme and one count of providing unlicensed financial services.
ASIC alleges Mr Bigatton operated an unlicensed managed investment scheme in Australia as part of the broader BitConnect network.
"ASIC further alleges that during four seminars conducted by Mr Bigatton, he made false or misleading statements which were likely to induce investors to apply for, or acquire, interests in the BitConnect Lending Platform," ASIC said in a statement.
The matter will return to court on February 2, 2021.
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