Texas Securities Commissioner issued the cease and desist order to Bitcoin Pope for a crypto fraud scheme that promises large returns.
September 5, 2020 | AtoZ Markets –Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles has issued an emergency cease and desist order against two brokers and their executives after they allegedly promoted a fraudulent Bitcoin investment scheme in the U.S., as per a document published by the Texas State Security Board this week.
The alleged masterminds behind the scheme are Kumar Babu Bondesi and Darwin Eric Balusek – the latter calling himself “Bitcoin Pope” in advertisements and among investors, the document said.
Iles demands the shutdown of a crypto investment scheme operated by Bitcoin Pope
Two days after the order was issued, Forex Birds and its parent company, Pek Universe, are still running.
Pek Universe promises those that invest at least $500, a 1.4% profit for 10 days, and a 5% affiliate fee. In return, it offers “the services of top Expert traders in the world to our world of platforms [sic].” Among other services offered by the firm are environmental cleanup, missile-defense, and nuclear security.
Forex Birds tells investors that they earn 50% in a single day (before Balusek takes his 20% cut of all the profits, of course). It claims that it is registered with both the “Europian” [sic] and Australian Securities and Investment Commissions. It cites Citibank, UBS, and Barclays as liquidity providers, plus a generous insurance policy of up to one million dollars. At no extra cost! In his cease and desist order, Iles said:
“Respondents have made an offer containing statements that are materially misleading.”
Operating two websites that promise high returns on crypto investments at virtually no risk, Balusek must shut down or face a fine of up to ten thousand dollars or two to ten years imprisonment or both. The order does not mention how much Balusek made from the scheme—if anything at all.
Crypto schemes rack up billions of dollars
Travis Iles, who issued the cease and desist order, said that the promoters of such fraudulent schemes take advantage of gullible investors to propagate their scams.
However, he indicated that preventing such schemes was possible. According to the commissioner, “due diligence may be the single most effective fraud-preventing measure for investors.”
The development is the latest in a long list of crypto scams, which have long plagued the crypto industry ever since the asset class gained prominence. In 2019 alone, scammers made away with a mammoth $4.3 billion using a variety of crypto schemes.
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