The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) is announcing charges against two US residents alleging that they were behind a multi-million-dollar crypto Ponzi scheme.
According to a press release, the CTFC has filed civil enforcement action against Sam Ikkurty of Portland, Oregon and Ravishankar Avadhaman of Aurora, Illinois for supposedly masterminding a $44 million fraudulent investment scheme centered around digital assets.
Ikkurty’s Jafia LLC was also named as defendant in the case.
“The complaint alleges that since at least January 2021, the defendants have used a website, YouTube videos, and other means to solicit more than $44 million from at least 170 participants to purchase, hold and trade digital assets, commodities, derivatives, swaps and commodity futures contracts.
The complaint further alleges that instead of investing the pooled participant funds as represented, the defendants misappropriated participant funds by distributing them to other participants, in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme.”
The CTFC also claims that the pair moved the funds collected through the scheme to accounts that they control.
“The defendants also transferred millions of dollars to an offshore entity that, in turn, may have transferred funds to a foreign cryptocurrency exchange. None of these funds were returned to the pool.”
The regulatory agency is seeking damages for those who were conned, the return of the illegally-obtained funds and irreversible bans for the defendants, according to the press release.
“In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded investors, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.”
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