Fraud and Scams

Ponzi Schemes Trio Victims Finally Getting Their Refunds from FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has commenced reimbursing more than $470,000 to victims of a series of cryptocurrency scams as far back as 2017 that they closed two years ago. Bitcoin Funding Team, My7Network, and Jetcoin, promised guaranteed returns on cryptocurrency trading but were nothing but Ponzi schemes with new money to pay out existing investors.

Following a court order in March 2018, the companies’ activities were halted and the founders’ assets frozen, leading to recovering some of the funds and returning them to victims.

FTC Gets Ponzi Scheme Trio Stopped

Bitcoin Funding Team, My7Network, and Jetcoin ran variously between February 2017 and February 2018 by Thomas Dluca, Louis Gatto, and Eric Pinkston. The trio used websites, YouTube videos, social media, and conference calls to reach investors, assuring big rewards for small upfront payments in Bitcoin or Litecoin.

The FTC started studying into the trio affairs in late 2017 following complaints from investors who weren’t getting their expected returns, eventually appealing to the U.S. District Court for the Southern State of Florida in February 2018 to halt the activities of the three men and freeze their assets. The courts granted the FTC request in March 2018, and Dluca, Gatto, and Pinkston were charged with violating the FTC Act’s prohibition against deceptive practices.

Refunds Could Grow

Last August 2019, the three agreed to settle with the FTC, with Dluca on the hook for $453,932, Chandler for $31,000, and Pinkston for $29,491. Following the funds’ receipt, the FTC began sharing the refunds to the 7,964 victims via PayPal last week, with the average refund being approximately $59. This refund will be a far cry from what many will have invested, but it’s $59 more than most scam victims get back.

The amount may also rise if Pinkston is shown to have lied about his low income, which was the reason why his penalty was reduced from the FTC desired figure of $461,035.

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