Binary options and crypto fraudster Blake Kantor gets prison sentence

Maria Nikolova

Blake Kantor, who ran Blue Bit Banc and Blue Bit Analytics, was sentenced to 86 months’ imprisonment.

The criminal proceedings against binary options and cryptocurrency fraudster Blake Kantor have come to an end.

Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Kantor, who formerly operated a binary options company known as Blue Bit Banc and Blue Bit Analytics, was sentenced by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein to 86 months’ imprisonment for operating a scheme to defraud BBB investors, and BBB investors who also invested in a cryptocurrency known as “ATM Coin,” to be followed by three years’ supervised release. Kantor was also ordered to pay restitution of $806,405 to the victims of his crime, forfeiture of $1.5 million, and forfeiture of approximately $153,000 of stolen proceeds. In November 2018, Kantor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and as part of his plea agreement, he admitted to obstructing the government’s investigation.

As FinanceFeeds has reported, the US Government has sought a sentence of imprisonment for Kantor within the Sentencing Guidelines range of between 70 and 87 months. Today’s sentence is in line with the Government’s arguments.

In March 2014, Kantor established BBB, and from approximately 2014 to 2017, he and others solicited and received approximately $1.5 million from more than 700 investors in BBB’s binary options. Kantor told investors that they could place binary option trades, or a BBB representative could do so for them, and that the predetermined profits promised them would be based on the actual prices of securities, currencies and other investments at particular points in time.

However, Kantor did not inform the investors that a BBB computer software program fraudulently altered data associated with binary options investments, so that the probability of investors earning a profit favored BBB and disadvantaged investors. Kantor also fraudulently persuaded several BBB investors’ to convert their BBB investments into “ATM Coin,” a worthless cryptocurrency that he told investors was worth as much as $600,000.

In October 2017, after FBI agents informed Kantor that they were investigating his involvement in binary options, Kantor directed a co-conspirator to alter BBB customer lists. Around the same time, Kantor deleted emails related to his scheme. When interviewed by the FBI, Kantor falsely stated that he had not been involved in binary options since August 2013.

The defendant blamed his fraud on drug abuse, but the Government argued that the calculated nature and sophistication of his scheme belie that claim. In any event, the fact that Kantor organized this scheme after having served a federal prison sentence for his involvement in drug trafficking conspiracy, is a factor that, according to the Government, supported the imprisonment sentence.

Read this next

Retail FX

FF Simple and Smart Trades says Goodbye to CySEC authorization

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) confirmed that it has wholly withdrawn the Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) licenses of FF Simple and Smart Trades Investment Services Ltd.

Crypto Insider

Shining the Light in Crypto’s Dark Places

Something changed in regulators’ minds after the November crash of the FTX crypto exchange.

Executive Moves

Financial Commission Adds Sam Low to Dispute Resolution Committee

The Financial Commission (FinaCom PLC), a dispute resolution service that caters to the financial services industry, has appointed Sam Low as the newest member of its Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC).

Digital Assets, Uncategorized

De-facto owner of Bithumb exchange arrested in South Korea

South Korean prosecutors have arrested Kang Jong-Hyun, the anonymous chairman and owner of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, on charges of embezzlement and stock manipulation.

Retail FX

Interactive Brokers volumes snap three-month losing streak

Electronic brokerage firm Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR) said its trading volumes rose in January, an indication that investor confidence in the financial markets is rebounding after having been fairly mixed over the past few months.

Digital Assets

VVF invests $5 million in Everscale, a potential Layer 2 solution for Venom blockchain

“For us, this is a strategic investment aimed at the technological development of projects and teams around technologies that we focus on and actively develop. In particular, we are talking about the Venom blockchain project and its ecosystem, which is planned to be launched soon and for which Everscale is a potential Layer 2 solution.”

Institutional FX

FXSpotStream volume ends string of declines on January rebound

Trading volumes on institutional FX platforms surged in January as traders increased their bets on central bankers’ policy with evidence mounting that inflation and economic growth are both losing momentum.

Industry News

DeFi firm Aurox launches SEC-compliant crowdfunding campaign on tZERO

“This is a great opportunity for us to raise capital from our community and the broader public on a leading fully regulated platform. We are confident that the tZERO Markets platform will provide us with the exposure and reach we need to attract a diverse investors to support our business growth.”

Industry News

Morgan Stanley launches ETF platform with six ESG-focused products by Calvert

“These new ETFs will resonate strongly with investors who seek competitive investment results while promoting positive change and supporting companies that are leaders in improving long-term shareholder value and societal outcomes.”

<