According to a statement by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) on August 18, five individuals were detained in connection with a crypto mining scam that ended up defrauding investors to the tune of $20 million.
The suspects allegedly urged investors to invest in their cryptocurrency trading and mining firm, AirBit Club, which in reality does not exist. According to the report, the suspects include Gutemberg Dos Santos, Jackie Aguilar, Pablo Renato Rodriguez, Cecilia Millan and Scott Hughes. They allegedly lured unsuspecting victims to invest in their crypto mining scam, promising a massive return on capital.
Crypto mining scam lands five in hot soup
Notably, Renato Rodriguez and Gutemberg Dos Santos founded the AirBit Club back in 2015. Both of them recruited both Cecilia Millan and Jackie Aguilar as marketers. The suspects falsely claimed that the company’s income generation is derived from its cryptocurrency mining and trading activities.
As per the report, investors were required to purchase a membership plan for the various programs of the Ponzi scheme to start earning passive income. At the end of the day, however, the firm failed to keep its promise to investors. Suspects have used the proceeds of the crypto mining scam for personal gain, the acquisition of luxurious properties such as apartments, sports cars, and jewelry,
“As alleged, the defendants put a modern-day spin on an age-old investment scam, promising extraordinary rates of guaranteed return on phantom investments in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to HSI, the defendants are in custody and facing serious criminal charges,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.
Suspects to face charges against conspiracy to commit fraud
Moving forward, the DoJ report notes that three of the suspects, Dos Santos, Rodriguez, and Millan are up against one charge against conspiracy to commit banking fraud, conspiring to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. On the other hand, Aguilar is being charged with a single conspiracy to commit wire fraud while Hughes is facing charges against one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit banking fraud.