The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York has announced that six executives of the cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme AirBit Club have pleaded guilty to a range of fraud and money laundering charges. The scheme had allegedly raked in approximately $100 million over the course of five years. The co-founders, their attorney, and AirBit promoters have all admitted to their roles in the scheme.
According to the law enforcement’s findings, the executives requested victims to purchase memberships in cash using third-party cryptocurrency brokers. The illicit proceeds were then laundered through several domestic and foreign bank accounts, including an attorney trust account managed by the attorney. This account was used to fund the personal expenses of the co-founders and promoters, as well as promotional events and sponsorships.
The defendants traveled throughout the United States and Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe, hosting expos and presentations to convince victims to purchase AirBit Club memberships. The victims were able to view “profits” being accumulated on their Online Portal, however, there was no actual Bitcoin mining or trading on behalf of the victims. Instead, the operators of the scheme enriched themselves and spent the money on cars, jewelry, and luxury homes, and funded more extravagant expos to amass more victims.
The US Attorney has stated that these guilty pleas send a clear message that they are coming after all those who seek to exploit cryptocurrency to commit fraud. The six executives of AirBit Club have been charged with wire fraud conspiracy, bank fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy charges.