Armen Temurian’s Vista sued by CFTC for $7m-worth Bitcoin and Ether Ponzi scheme
“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 Commodity Futures Trading Commission has charged Vista Network Technologies (Vista) and its CEO, Armen Temurian, with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of customers’ digital asset commodities.
According to the regulator, Armen Temurian fraudulently solicited over $7 million worth of bitcoin and ether from customers and misappropriated a portion of these assets in a Ponzi-like scheme.
“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”, said CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement Gretchen Lowe.
Investors duped by claims of 2.5% daily return or “double in just 80 days
From September 2017 to January 2018, Armen Temurian’s Vista claimed to trade clients’ digital assets using “Robot Traders” and provide a 2.5% daily return or “double in just 80 days.”
The CFTC alleges these representations were false because the defendants had never traded customer assets and did not have any trading program capable of generating the promised returns.
Instead, Armen Temurian engaged in a Ponzi-like scheme through Vista by using new investors’ assets to pay returns to investors who had invested earlier in the scheme.
Investors transferred over 750 Bitcoin and 2,000 Ether to Defendants worth more than $7 million and the fraudster never traded a single digital asset entrusted to him, according to the complaint.
“Imperative that all members of the public to stay informed”
CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson commented on the case, concluding “once more and again, false promises, fake investments, and disturbing losses suffered by unsuspecting investors.”
In a recent statement related to a different matter, she commented: I have long been concerned about the potential for fraud in digital asset markets. While we will continue to serve as a cop on the beat policing markets for anti-fraud and market manipulation in accordance with our statutory authority, it is imperative that all members of the public to stay informed about the potential scams and abuses in digital assets markets by visiting our investor advisory page.
“Fraudsters offering guaranteed, or unusually high, returns—or both—should in particular prompt scrutiny and additional diligence before transferring any funds.”