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Nevada Man Pleads Guilty in $722 Million Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Scheme – Regulation Bitcoin News

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Nevada Man Pleads Guilty in $722 Million Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Scheme – Regulation Bitcoin News


A Nevada man has admitted his role in laundering funds solicited for the Bitclub Network, a $722 million fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. He also pleaded guilty to tax offenses.

Bitclub Network Investor Pleads Guilty

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday that Gordon Brad Beckstead, a 57-year-old from Henderson, Nevada, has pleaded guilty in connection with the Bitclub Network fraud. The announcement details:

A Nevada man today admitted his role in laundering funds solicited for Bitclub Network, a $722 million fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme.

The DOJ explained that the Bitclub Network was a fraudulent scheme that ran from April 2014 through December 2019. Its creator and operator, Matthew Brent Goettsche, was indicted in December 2019. Silviu Catalin Balaci, Russ Albert Medlin, Jobadiah Sinclair Weeks, and Joseph Frank Abel were also indicted at the same time in connection with the scheme.

The fraudsters “solicited money from investors in exchange for shares of purported cryptocurrency mining pools and rewarded investors for recruiting new investors into the scheme,” the DOJ described.

Beckstead, a Bitclub Network investor and a former CPA, admitted conspiring with Goettsche and others to launder funds earned through the Bitclub Network.

He also aided in the preparation of Goettsche’s fraudulent 2017 and 2018 federal tax returns, allowing him to avoid paying more than $20 million in federal income taxes. According to the DOJ, Beckstead admitted that he knew the returns were fraudulent in that they failed to report more than $60 million in income earned through the operation of the Bitclub Network.

Beckstead pleaded guilty to “one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return,” the justice department noted.

The money laundering charge “carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater,” the DOJ clarified, adding that the tax charge “carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $100,000.”

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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Regulation

Kazakhstan Continues Bitcoin Mining Regulation – Bitcoin Magazine

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Kazakhstan Continues Bitcoin Mining Regulation - Bitcoin Magazine



Kazakhstan is moving forward with regulation that will further stifle its bitcoin mining industry.

The country’s federal parliamentary body has completed secondary approval of a bill “On Digital Assets in the Republic of Kazakhstan.” With a third approval, the legislation will introduce new licensing requirements for bitcoin miners based on their facility ownership and operational structure. It would also require that miners purchase their electricity from the energy provider Korem at market rates.

Previously, specific reporting and tax requirements were implemented, including registration of names, locations and quarterly reports to the government. These occurred as a result of the major influx of mining amidst energy shortages and protests, all while bitcoin miners fled China as a response to the government’s banning of bitcoin.

Kazakhstan’s close proximity to China and previously highly favorable energy access led to the large amounts of hash rate migrating to the country. Afterwards, Kazakhstan went as far as seizing up to $200 million in mining equipment who did not comply with regulation, and the country continues to try and absorb the benefits of the influx in bitcoin mining using legislation like this most recently approved bill.

Bitcoin Magazine previously reported on regulation in Kazakhstan, citing a report from the Russian media outlet Tass. In the report, Ekaterina Smyshlyaeva, a member of the Committee on Economic Reform and Regional Development of the Majilis (Kazakhstan’s federal parliamentary body) detailed the government’s intentions, describing how, “Kazakhstan was used as a raw material appendage of the blockchain industry. [Through] bills, we oblige miners to license in Kazakhstan, that is, to create legal entities and become full-fledged subjects of taxation.” 



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Paraguay Fails To Pass Bitcoin Mining Bill – Bitcoin Magazine

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Paraguay’s Bitcoin Bill Passes the Senate



  • The Paraguay legislature did not pass a bill that would have regulated cryptocurrency mining in the country.
  • The bill, originally passed in July of 2022, was subsequently vetoed by President Mario Abdo Benítez in August, which sent it back to the legislature.
  • If passed, the bill would have limited outsized charges levied against bitcoin miners for their energy usage.

According to a Coindesk report, “The industry has found itself in a fight with the local grid operator provider, Ande, and some members of the legislature who claim that the grid’s infrastructure cannot handle the excess load and that the industry doesn’t greatly benefit the local economy and society.”

Ande had requested that the Paraguayan government raise electricity tariffs by as much as 60% over the industry standard — and the bill would have capped these increases to 15%.

Paraguay has become a major location for bitcoin mining as a result of the country’s abundant power. The Itaipú dam, one of the largest in the world, has proven to be a boon of cheap energy, enabling a rush to absorb this value into the Bitcoin network via mining. If the country seeks to expand on this rush of investment into the energy infrastructure of the country, getting regulation correct is critical to not stifling that.

Industry players involved in Paraguay include Bitfarms, who has a 10MW facility based there, and Pow.re, who has operations totaling 12MW there.



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Lawmaker Pleads With Sam Bankman-Fried to Attend Congress Hearing on FTX — SBF Says He’ll Testify When He’s Ready – Regulation Bitcoin News

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Lawmaker Pleads With Sam Bankman-Fried to Attend Congress Hearing on FTX — SBF Says He'll Testify When He's Ready


Congresswoman Maxine Waters, chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, has politely asked former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) to attend a congressional hearing on the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange. Bankman-Fried says he will testify when he has finished “learning and reviewing what happened.”

Bankman-Fried Responds to Rep. Waters’ Invitation

The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will hold a congressional hearing on the collapse of crypto exchange FTX on Dec. 13. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the committee’s chair, has been trying to get former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) to attend the hearing. However, instead of issuing a subpoena for him to testify, Waters politely asked him on Twitter Friday.

“We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others. To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th,” she tweeted.

Bankman-Fried responded to Waters on Twitter Saturday:

Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain. I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.

Waters Insists SBF Must Attend Next Week’s Hearing

Congresswoman Waters responded to Bankman-Fried Monday: “Based on your role as CEO and your media interviews over the past few weeks, it’s clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony.” In a follow-up tweet, she wrote:

As you know, the collapse of FTX has harmed over one million people. Your testimony would not only be meaningful to members of Congress, but is also critical to the American people.

Waters stressed: “It is imperative that you attend our hearing on the 13th, and we are willing to schedule continued hearings if there is more information to be shared later.”

At the time of writing, Bankman-Fried has not replied to Waters further.

Many people on social media criticized Waters for her politeness towards Bankman-Fried. A number of people urged the lawmaker to stop asking SBF nicely on social media and issue a subpoena to force him to testify.

However, some suspect that Waters is polite to Bankman-Fried because the former FTX boss was the second-largest donor to the Democratic Party during the 2021-22 election cycle. According to Opensecrets, he donated $39,884,256 to Democrats before FTX imploded and had to file for bankruptcy. However, Tesla CEO and Twitter chief Elon Musk believes that SBF’s actual support to Democrats was over $1 billion.

What do you think about how Rep. Maxine Waters asked Bankman-Fried to attend her congressional hearing? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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