The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a complaint against four individuals for defrauding investors of $1 million through an alleged Bitcoin investment scheme. Dubbed Global Trading Club (GTC), it operated as a BTC trading robot for over a year.
CFTC Goes After GTC’s Members
The Commission’s statement named the four people behind GTC – Joel Castaneda Garcia, Mayco Alexis Maldonado Garcia, Cesar Castaneda, and Rodrigo Jose Castro Molino. The agency believes that the alleged fraudulent platform was active from August 2016 through October 2017.
Within that time, the four GTC members “falsely represented to actual and potential customers that their business, named Global Trading Club, employed ‘master traders’ who had years of experience trading cryptocurrencies, and used ‘cutting edge trading robots’ to trade Bitcoin for customers.”
The perpetrators also promised customers that the guaranteed earnings would increase based on the deposit amounts. By utilizing this tactic, they manipulated investors into putting in more substantial funds into the platform.
Additionally, the four men falsely promised a referral bonus in the form of a multi-level marketing scheme.
Other fraudulent techniques employed by the GTC founders included posting misleading trading settlements on the platform’s website and false success stories.
According to the complaint, at least 27 individuals had fallen for the scam and invested $989,000 with GTC representatives.
“The CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and the Commission’s regulations, as charged.”
GTC’s Fraudulent History
A popular website reviewing potential MLM scams suggested that GTC’s operations resembled a classic Ponzi scheme shortly after the platform’s release. By exploring the website, which lacked sufficient data and information regarding the founders and staff members, BehindMLM warned investors to “think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money.”
The review further explained that GTC’s reach expanded to Japan and South America. In fact, the South American market’s results proliferated, and GTC had to translate its website in Spanish.
GTC offered three membership deals. Level one, called “Entrepreneur,” requested $250 as a deposit and promised $1-$3 daily ROI for 175 days. The second level – “Presidential” – offered $5-$10 for 350 days in exchange for $1,000. Level three – “VIP” – asked for an initial deposit of $7,000, and promised a daily ROI of $35-$70 for 400 days.
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