The Securities and Exchange Commission charged 11 people with running a fraudulent crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme that raised more than $300 million.
The scheme claimed to be a decentralized smart contract platform but operated like a standard pyramid scheme.
The SEC has charged eleven individuals, including four founders of Forsage. They are currently unknown whereabouts. All four are foreign nationals two from Russia, one from Georgia, and one from Indonesia.
The other defendants were heavily involved in promoting the scam on social media apps like YouTube, Snapchat, and Tiktok.
Forsage was launched in January 2020, but regulators tried to shut it down several times. Including cease and desist letters from state regulators.
“As the complaint alleges, Forsage is a fraudulent pyramid scheme launched on a massive scale and aggressively marketed to investors,” wrote Carolyn Welshhans, acting chief of the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit.
The SEC has ramped up its efforts toward crypto-related enforcement. They are wrapped up in a case against the founders of ripple and are currently in the start of a case against a former employee of Coinbase.
Two of the defendants in the Forsage case agreed to settle charges, subject to court approval.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- SEC charges 11 people in alleged $300 million crypto Ponzi scheme – Vigour Times
- U.S. SEC charges 11 individuals in $300 million crypto pyramid scheme – Reuters
- SEC charges 11 people with crypto pyramid scheme – AXIOS
- Forsage crypto executives charged with running $300 million Ponzi scheme – CBS News