CFTC Charges California Firm and CEO With Fraud, Misappropriation of Digital Assets

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has charged California-based Vista Network Technologies and its CEO, Armen Temurian, with fraudulently soliciting over $7 million in bitcoin and ether from customers, according to a Thursday press release. It also alleged that Vista and Temurian misappropriated a portion of these assets in a Ponzi-like scheme.

The CFTC is seeking restitution, disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans and a permanent injunction against further violations.

According to the complaint, from September 2017 through January 2018, Vista falsely advertised that it would trade customers’ digital assets and earn a 2.5% daily return or “double in just 80 days.” The company said it would trade customers’ bitcoin and ether using “Robot Traders” that the CFTC said it never had access to, and instead engaged in a Ponzi scheme with new and old customer funds.

Read more: US CFTC Chief Promises More ‘Precedent-Setting’ Crypto Enforcement Cases