SEC Charges Trade Coin Club Founding Members With Operating a $295 Million Ponzi Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Friday that it's charging the founding members of a multi-level marketing organization with operating a $295 million crypto Ponzi scheme.

The SEC is charging Douver Torres Braga, Joff Paradise, Keleionalani Akana Taylor and Jonathan Tetreault for their involvement in Trade Coin Club, which raised over 80,000 bitcoin (BTC) from over 100,000 investors.

Braga, who founded the firm, allegedly deceived investors by telling them they could generate daily returns of 0.35% on their crypto through a bot, but instead used these funds to compensate himself, Paradise, Taylor and Tetreault.

“We allege that Braga used Trade Coin Club to steal hundreds of millions from investors around the world and enrich himself by exploiting their interest in investing in digital assets,” said the chief of the Enforcement Division’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, David Hirsch, in a statement.

Ponzi schemes involving cryptocurrency are nothing new to the SEC and other financial regulators. In August, the SEC sued 11 individuals associated with Forsage, an Ethereum dapp that robbed investors of over $300 million. In May, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged two men who used YouTube videos to deceive crypto investors, scamming them out of $44 million.