According to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), BitConnect victims will be paid $17 million in restitution money.
This statement indicates that a federal court in San Diego (California) has ordered said funds be delivered to 800 people in 40 countries.
BitConnect was widely acknowledged as a Ponzi scheme, both in public and in legal proceedings. Its associates were indicted and found guilty of various charges. BitConnect founder Satish Kumbhani pleaded guilty to the charges in February 2022. Glenn Arcaro, the U.S. promoter, was also indicted. In September 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued both of them.
BitConnect was operational between 2016 and 2018. The value of the project’s associated crypto token collapsed shortly after the project shut down.
Various jurisdictions including the U.K., Texas, and North Carolina took action to restrict Bitconnect’s operations at an early date. However, the project’s distributed structure and lack of central leadership meant that some developments around the project continued even after it formally shut down or became the target of regulators.
Because of the nature of the situation, victims have had to wait for years for compensation. The DOJ took $56 million worth of cryptocurrency in November 2021 with the intent of selling it off and paying restitution to the victims. The market fluctuations mean that $56 million in crypto funds would now be worth approximately $17million. However, DOJ has not provided any details about when it sold the seized crypto to cash.
In any case, the $17 million that is set to be returned to victims accounts for only part of BitConnect’s value, as it was seized from Arcaro personally. According to a DOJ declaration in early 2022, BitConnect had already received $2.4 Billion from investors.
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