California-based Vista Network Technologies and its CEO, Armen Temurian, have been charged by the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of defrauding consumers out of more than $7 million in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In addition, it is alleged in the official news release on Thursday that Vista and CEO Temurian stole some of the client funds by operating a Ponzi-style scheme in which they repaid previous investors with money raised from new ones.
The defendants falsely advertised and promoted their schemes from September 2017 to January 2018, according to the complaint the US commodities market regulator submitted to the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. For example, Vista claimed it would trade customers’ digital assets and earn a 2.5% return per day or “double in just 80 days” using “Robot Traders.”
The CFTC says the defendants’ representations were false because Vista never traded customer assets and did not even have a trading program capable of generating the promised returns.
CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement Gretchen Lowe commented:
This action demonstrates our ongoing commitment to use the tools at our disposal to hold bad actors accountable in the digital asset space.
It is just one more example of the CFTC’s efforts to protect retail customers from fraud related to digital asset commodities.”
The CFTF is now trying to retrieve the funds collected by Vista from customers while also looking to impose civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.
Having gained a degree in economics, Alan entered the world of financial services starting his career in London and then moving to New York for a number of years. His first post at a City bank saw him establish a reputation as an forex trader. Having recently returned from New York after eight successful years, Alan is now a prosperous trader in his own right concentrating on commodities and forex.