CFTC suffers setback in proceedings against virtual currency scheme My Big Coin

Maria Nikolova

A hearing for preliminary injunction gets delayed, whereas the current Court orders do not enjoin the ongoing fraud, including the fraudulent solicitations currently on the Internet.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is losing a battle with time in a virtual currency fraud case against My Big Coin. After the regulator secured a restraining order temporarily freezing the assets of the defendants in the case, it sought that the Massachusetts District Court impose a preliminary injunction on the defendants.

The CFTC had hoped for a preliminary injunction hearing to be held on January 25, 2018, as the temporary restraining order does not enjoin the ongoing fraud, including the fraudulent solicitations currently on the Internet. The counsel for the defendants, however, insisted that the current orders are sufficient and that a delay would not harm the CFTC.

On January 30, 2018, Judge Rya W. Zobel agreed to reschedule the hearing for March 15, 2018, thus giving the defendants extra time. This illustrates how complex legal proceedings against virtual currency scams can be. Technically, the defendants may continue to solicit investor funds.

The CFTC has charged Randall Crater, Mark Gillespie, and My Big Coin Pay, Inc., with misappropriating over $6 million from customers. The case also targets Relief Defendants Kimberly Renee Benge, Kimberly Renee Benge d/b/a Greyshore Advertisement a/k/a Greyshore Advertiset, Barbara Crater Meeks, Erica Crater, Greyshore, LLC, and Greyshore Technology, LLC for allegedly receiving customer funds without providing any legitimate services to clients and without any interest or entitlement to such customer funds.

The regulator has found that customer funds had been transferred into the personal bank accounts of the defendants, and that the defendants had used those funds for personal expenses and the purchase of luxury goods.

Specifically, the CFTC Complaint alleges that from at least January 2014 through January 2018, the Defendants fraudulently solicited potential and existing MBC customers throughout the United States by making false and misleading claims and omissions about MBC’s value, usage, and trade status, and that MBC was backed by gold. Defendants also allegedly fraudulently solicited numerous customers in the District of Massachusetts, receiving in excess of $5 million from those customers.

The case is captioned Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. My Big Coin Pay, Inc. et al (1:18-cv-10077).

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