• CFTC wins a record $3.4 billion penalty in a Bitcoin-related fraud case involving the CEO of Mirror Trading International Proprietary Limited (MTI).
• Half of the penalty will go towards providing restitution to victims of MTI’s fraudulent activities.
• Johannes Steynberg is permanently banned from registering with or trading in any CFTC-regulated markets.
CFTC Wins Record $3.4 Billion Penalty
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has won a record $3.4 billion penalty payment in a Bitcoin-related fraud case against the CEO of Mirror Trading International Proprietary Limited (MTI), located in South Africa. The court ordered Johannes Steynberg to pay this penalty for operating an unregistered commodity pool and falsely claiming to trade off-exchange retail forex through a proprietary “bot” or software program between May 2018 and March 2021.
Victims of Fraudulent Activities Eligible for Restitution
Half of the $3.4 billion penalty payment will be used to provide restitution to victims of MTI’s fraudulent activities, while the other half is considered a civil penalty – the largest ever issued by the CFTC in any case. At least 23,000 individuals from different countries were tricked into participating despite MTI not being registered as a commodity pool operator (CPO) as required by law, and 29,421 bitcoins valued at over $1.7 billion were accepted from these individuals by Steynberg himself or on his behalf.
Steynberg Arrested and Permanently Banned from CFTC
Steynberg was arrested in December 2021 after Interpol issued an arrest warrant for him and he has been held in Brazil since then. In addition to facing criminal charges for his actions, he has also been permanently banned from registering with or trading on any CFTC regulated markets going forward.
CFTC Committed to Protecting Investors
The recent court ruling is considered one step closer towards achieving justice for all those affected by this scam – both financially and emotionally – but it also serves as a reminder that investors must always be vigilant when considering new investments opportunities online, particularly those involving cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin which are highly vulnerable to fraudsters due to their decentralized nature and lack of regulation around them yet still have become increasingly popular investment options lately even among traditional investors looking to diversify their portfolios further into digital assets space recently .
The CFTC remains committed to protect investors from fraudulent schemes like this one and continues its work diligently investigating similar cases brought forward by members of public who suspect foul play and alert authorities about possible scams before they can do more damage than already done here with nearly 30,000 individuals losing over 1 billion dollars worth bitcoin funds invested under false pretenses of profitability promised by Steynburg via his unregistered business entity MTI that turned out just another ponzi scheme unfortunately!