Utah Man Ordered to Settle Over $2.5 Million for Bitcoin Fraud by CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has mandated Utah-based Jacob Orvidas to reimburse upwards of $2 million and incur a civil monetary penalty amounting to $500,000. The issued order, which settles simultaneously filed charges, unearthed Orvidas' fraudulent enticement of at least four individuals to invest in a leveraged Bitcoin commodity pool.
According to the findings, between October 2017 and July 2020, Orvidas deceitfully invited pool participants for leveraged Bitcoin trading, making lofty promises of significant profits and assured monetary safety. In one such instance, he claimed a client transformed a $100,000 Bitcoin investment into a staggering $2.7 million. Such assurances, which were found to be baseless, led participants to pour over $2 million into his commodity pool. The proceedings unveil that Orvidas, failing in his trading commitments, nearly exhausted all funds. To veil these losses, he resorted to producing counterfeit spreadsheets, falsely showcasing trading profits and high account balances. Subsequently, participants were met with deceitful narratives when seeking their promised profits and principal amounts, leading to a collective loss surpassing $2 million.
The report also sheds light on Orvidas' negligence to register as a commodity pool operator, which the CFTC considers a breach of the Commodity Exchange Act. Consequently, Orvidas faces a 10-year embargo from both registration and trading activities.
Ian McGinley, Director of Enforcement at the CFTC, commented, "This bitcoin case is a straight-up fraud: simple and old as time." He further emphasized the CFTC's unwavering commitment to safeguarding common folks from deceptive digital-asset endeavors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) played a pivotal role in assisting the CFTC throughout this case. Spearheading the matter from the Division of Enforcement were Anthony Biagioli, Stephen Turley, Jeff Le Riche, Christopher Reed, and Charles Marvine.
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