Three people have been charged in the U.S. over two cryptocurrency scams, one of which was promoted by famous Hollywood actor Steven Seagal. The main promoter of the schemes has already been arrested and is facing criminal charges. Seagal previously settled the charges against him relating to the scheme.
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged three people on Monday with defrauding retail investors “through two fraudulent and unregistered digital asset securities offerings” that occurred between approximately December 2017 and May 2018. The three are Kristijan Krstic, John DeMarr, and Robin Enos. DeMarr has been arrested and is facing criminal charges by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
- Krstic (also known as Felix Logan), a Serbian-Australian national who was domiciled in the Philippines during the relevant period, is the founder of the two schemes, the SEC detailed. DeMarr of Santa Ana, California, was the schemes’ primary U.S.-based promoter. Robin Enos, a resident of San Pablo, drafted the schemes’ fraudulent documents to distribute to the public.
- The two schemes are Start Options and Bitcoiin2gen. “By the time their schemes collapsed, they had fraudulently raised, directly or through affiliates and promoters, at least $11.4 million from more than 460 investors in Start Options and Bitcoiin2gen, none of which has been returned to investors,” the SEC wrote.
- Krstic and DeMarr falsely claimed that Start Options was “the largest bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity” and “consistently rated the best and most secure bitcoin exchange by independent news media.” They also promoted Bitcoiin2gen’s unregistered security offering of B2G tokens in January 2018.
- The B2G token offering was also promoted by famous Hollywood actor Steven Seagal. In February 2020, the SEC charged Seagal with “unlawfully touting” B2G tokens, alleging that the actor failed to disclose that he was promised $250,000 in cash and $750,000 worth of B2G tokens in exchange for his promotions. Seagal subsequently settled the charges with the SEC.
- The SEC alleges that Enos knowingly drafted fraudulent promotional materials containing numerous false statements, including that the B2G tokens would be tradeable on a proprietary cryptocurrency trading platform in early April 2018. In reality, “Bitcoiin2gen was a sham, and Krstic and DeMarr allegedly misappropriated millions of dollars of investor funds for their own personal benefit,” according to the SEC. In its Monday complaint, the SEC also stated that the “defendants misleadingly tout celebrity Steven Seagal as an investor” of the B2G tokens.
What do you think about this crypto scam? Let us know in the comments section below.