The United States Commodities Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) has charged an Ohio resident for allegedly operating a $12 million Ponzi scheme that also involved Bitcoin.
The cease-and-desist order has been filed against Rathnakishore Giri and his two companies: SR Private Equity LLC and NBD Eidetic Capital LLC in the Southern District of Ohio. The order also asks the court to force Giri to pay back his so-called investors. According to CFTC Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson, the accused is being charged with creating and perpetuation a scheme designed to fool investors interested in digital assets. Through his business Giri allegedly told customers that he would re-invest their funds and make them returns. According to the CFTC, this was all a lie.
In a statement published on Friday, August 12, Johnson said:
Under the guise that he operated a private equity investment fund with a focus on investing in digital assets, Giri seized upon the contemporary fervor for digital asset investment opportunities and lured unwitting investors to contribute over $12 million in cash and bitcoins to his funds with the promise of exceptional returns without the risk of financial loss.
According to the CFTC, Giri violated commodities laws and regulations that forbid the manipulation of information and “deceptive devices.” Johnson stated that:
Giri simply pocketed customers’ money, using their invested funds to bankroll his lavish lifestyle—characterized by use of private jets, yacht rentals, an extravagant vacation home, a luxury car, and expensive clothing.
Beyond ordering Giri to cease all activities related to the fraud, the CFT wants him to hand over any monetary benefits “directly or indirectly” attached to the violation of regulations, including salaries, commissions, fees, loans, revenues, and trading profits.
Johnson said in her statement that although the CFTC “rigorously surveys markets and enforces regulation,” new financial products such as digital assets “create new challenges,” adding:
This case illustrates these dangers, underscores the ever-present threats, and demonstrates that – no matter the asset class – effective enforcement and customer protections must be among our highest priorities.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.