US authorities have arrested the Forsage cryptocurrency fraud scheme perpetrators. Eleven people is now charged for their role in defrauding retail investors for more than $300m worldwide.
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the charges on Monday, which relate to a Ponzi scheme called Forsage that had operated for more than two years. The agency charged the alleged founders of the pyramid scheme as well as several promoters. The founders were allegedly last seen living in Russia.
Forsage’s website was launched in January 2020, the SEC said. The cryptocurrency fraud scheme was reportedly run through Ethereum, Tron and Binance blockchains. Investors earned profits by recruiting others into the smart contract fraud scheme, the SEC said.
Forsage also allegedly used assets from new investors to pay earlier investors in a typical Ponzi structure, the SEC complaint added.
“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.”
Without admitting or denying the allegations, two of the defendants agreed to settle the charges and one of them agreed to pay penalties, the SEC said.