The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, or ASIC for its acronym in English, accused former Australian BitConnect representative of being involved in the multi-billion dollar Ponzi program related to cryptocurrency.
According to an ASIC statement on November 17, the Commission, with the help of The US FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has indicted John Louis Anthony Bigatton for his work at BitConnect from August 2017 to January 2018.
Face cFour criminal charges for misleading or false statements that influenced the market share, a fee for operating an unregistered investment plan and a fee for providing financial services without a license.
Each misrepresentation charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, while the other two charges carry sentences of 5 and 2 years respectively. This means the 52-year-old BitConnect promoter may face life imprisonment.
In September, the ASIC Bigatton banned the offering of financial services for seven years “It was not sufficiently trained or not competent to provide financial services.”
Bitconnect was one of the largest and most notorious Ponzi programs in the crypto space. The project got thousands of people to invest and offered unrealistic returns on loans with its native token. The lending platform raised approximately $ 2.5 billion before it closed in January 2018 due to an injunction from the Texas State Securities Board.
The investigation into Bigatton’s involvement in the program also began in 2018 when the Australian federal court froze its assets and placed travel restrictions on the Australian citizen. Biggaton reportedly made up to $ 100,000 for its role in the Bitconnect scam.
Biggaton’s case will return to court on February 2. Authorities are also apparently opening an investigation unrelated to the disappearance of his wife, who disappeared in March 2018.