SEC Charges 11 Individuals In $300 Million Forsage Ponzi Scheme

Summary:

  • The U.S. SEC shared an update on the Forsage debacle.
  • 11 individuals have been charged in connection with the alleged Ponzi scheme.
  • Four of these persons are believed to be the co-founders of Forsage.
  • Authorities claim that the Forsage team stole over $300 million from retail investors worldwide.
  • Others charged by the agency include social media marketers and members of the promotions group, Crypto Crusaders.
  • The news is the latest crackdown by the SEC as it tries to police some crypto activities.
  • Coinbase and Ripple are currently embroiled in legal battles with the watchdog. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged team members and social media promoters in connection with the alleged Forsage.io Ponzi scheme which supposedly stole over $300 million from retail investors across the globe.

According to the statement released on Monday, 11 individuals were charged with several counts of fraud and violation of federal securities laws. The charged persons include Vladimir Okhotnikov, Jane Doe a/k/a Lola Ferrari, Mikhail Sergeev, and Sergey Maslakov.

Prosecutors claim that these four individuals launched Forsage in January 2020, to serve as a platform for investors who wanted to invest in cryptocurrencies. The Forsage website powered such operations by providing smart contracts on Binance Smart chain, Ethereum, and Tron.

Forsage allegedly leveraged its growing platform to offer bonuses and rewards to existing investors who referred other investors. The official statement said that the team used assets from previous investors to settle new users in what the agency labeled a “Ponzi structure”. 

Authorities launched cease-and-desist orders in 2020 and 2021, but the team continued to promote Forsage to new users and unsuspecting investors, per Monday’s report. 

In addition, marketers from the large U.S. promotional group Crypto Crusaders were also charged by the agency.

SEC Goes After Crypto Players And Companies 

Monday’s update signals the latest legal proceeding engaged by the Securities and Exchange Commission pertaining to a crypto project or company. The agency recently went after Coinbase over cryptocurrency listings and possible securities violations. 

Ripple also has a lengthy court case with the financial watchdog.

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