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SEC Charges 11 Individuals in $300M Crypto Scheme

Cryptocurrency Aug 01, 2022 02:43PM ET
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SEC Charges 11 Individuals in $300M Crypto Scheme
 
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By Michael Elkins

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that the government entity has charged 11 individuals for their roles in creating and promoting the fraudulent crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme, Forsage.

According to the SEC’s complaint, in January 2020, Vladimir Okhotnikov, Jane Doe a/k/a Lola Ferrari, Mikhail Sergeev, and Sergey Maslakov, who were last known to be living in Russia, the Republic of Georgia, and Indonesia, launched Forsage.io, a website that allowed millions of retail investors to enter into transactions via smart contracts that operated on the Ethereum, Tron, and Binance blockchains.

The fake crypto company raised more than $300 million from millions of retail investors worldwide, including in the United States.

"As the complaint alleges, Forsage is a fraudulent pyramid scheme launched on a massive scale and aggressively marketed to investors," said Carolyn Welshhans, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit. "Fraudsters cannot circumvent the federal securities laws by focusing their schemes on smart contracts and blockchains."

In addition to charging the four founders, the complaint, filed in United States District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, also charges Cheri Beth Bowen, of Pelahatchie, Miss., Ronald R. Deering, of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, Samuel D. Ellis, of Louisville, Ky., Mark F. Hamlin, of Henrico, Va., Carlos L. Martinez, of Chicago, Ill., Alisha R. Shepperd, of Dunedin, Fla., and Sarah L. Theissen, of Hartford, Wis., with violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws.

SEC Charges 11 Individuals in $300M Crypto Scheme
 

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Comments (2)
Sini Diakhatè
Sini Diakhatè Oct 02, 2022 2:41PM ET
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sini
Jan Buyle
Jan Buyle Aug 01, 2022 3:15PM ET
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All cryptos are ponzi shemes...
Justin Fittipaldi
Justin Fittipaldi Aug 01, 2022 3:15PM ET
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