The crypto world is abuzz with what has shaped up to be one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in American cryptocurrency history. The dastardly scheme was the brainchild of Cornelius Steynberg who spearheads the South African company MTI and victimized people around the world which included over 20,000 Americans. The scheme ran for a period of three years when his company managed to swindle Bitcoin worth a whopping $1.7 million. CFTC, the American regulatory authority for derivative markets, is overseeing the case and has named it their biggest cryptocurrency case to date.
Victims were targeted on illicit global marketing sites and social media apps, then easily converted to become crypto investors at MTI. A good chunk of them hailed from the United States to be a part of the tech-savvy elite investment group and soon fell prey to misappropriation by the thousands. Victims were lured by the allure of a pyramid scheme that promised to fetch lump sum returns for inviting more members and a passive remuneration that would proliferate their Bitcoin investment.
Crypto CEO turned Fugitive
MTI also promised the use of bots that employed high-tech software to bring substantial profits for the crypto investors but this was far from reality. The large-scale embezzlement saw only a mere portion of the collected Bitcoin pool used as actual investment, and it was not used for foreign exchange trading like the company claimed. The CEO Steynberg and MTI have been accused of spurious financial statements, counterfeit accounts and fraudulent brokers.
The American regulatory body is seeking action against the firm and Steynberg including full reimbursement for the victims, monetary fines as well as an indefinite prohibition of the exchange practices of the company. Steynberg had been evading arrest for a while by absconding but was ultimately traced to Brazil and apprehended by the Interpol recently.