- Reynolds scammed nearly 170 US citizens.
- He promised to trade his cryptocurrencies using algorithmic traders and return them with a guaranteed profit.
- Since then it has disappeared.
On Friday, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. issued a statement demanding that British citizen Benjamin Reynolds paid a fine of $ 571 million for a scam he carried out during the summer and fall of 2017.
Most of the fine is a $ 429 million fine, and the additional $ 142 million will be paid as restitution to his victims.
20,000 its a lot of money. Today, with Bitcoin hovering around $ 55k, it’s over a billion dollars. In the early summer of 2017, when Reynolds started his scam, the price of Bitcoin was around $ 1,500, or just under one-thirty-sixth of its current value.
Allegedly from Manchester, northern England, Reynolds targeted about 170 US citizens through a fictitious company called Control-Finance. Using a website, various social media profiles, and email communications, Reynolds provoked them with the menacing promise that he would exchange his funds online. crypto markets and returns a profit to them.
He constructed an elaborate lie, telling victims that he would use “specialized virtual currency traders that generate guaranteed trading profits,” according to the CFTC statement.
He quickly disappeared with the digital loot and has not been found since, although the CFTC sued him in January 2019.
Crypto: fertile ground for cyberattacks.
With the advent of cryptocurrencies, new forms of theft have appeared thickly and quickly. In February of this year, (DeFi) CREAM platformwas stolen from $ 37 million when hackers used a complex multi-step exploit involving flash loans.
Then, in March, a compromised wallet on the social money platform Roll was drained of its contents, which was scrapped for 3,000 ETH, or about $ 5.7 million at the time, sending the price of many of the tokens that were stolen into free fall.
With the advent of new forms of cybercrime, new forms of digital heroism are also emerging. Last year, security expert ‘samczsun’ saw a vulnerable smart contract that left 25,000 ETH, or $ 9.6 million at the time, on the horizon. He secretly secured the pot and alerted its rightful owner, Lien Finance.
So the question remains, will Benjamin Reynolds feel the penitent sting of a healthy conscience? Will you pay your fine with the CFTC? Even if he bit the bullet, he’d still have 500 million in Bitcoin left over for his undoubtedly philanthropic designs.