Individuals behind digital asset scheme Global Trading Club face fraud charges

Maria Nikolova

The CFTC has brought charges against Mayco Alexis Maldonado Garcia, Cesar Castaneda, Rodrigo Jose Castro Molina, and Joel Castaneda Garcia.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against four individuals engaged in fraudulent digital asset scheme.

The defendants are Mayco Alexis Maldonado Garcia, Cesar Castaneda, Rodrigo Jose Castro Molina, and Joel Castaneda Garcia. They allegedly fraudulently solicited funds from customers to speculate in Bitcoin price movements.

The complaint alleges that from at least August 2016 through October 2017, the defendants falsely represented to actual and potential customers that their business, named Global Trading Club (GTC), employed “master traders” who had years of experience trading “crypto currency,” and used “cutting edge trading robots” to trade Bitcoin for customers “24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” The defendants further falsely represented that customer earnings would increase based on the amount of their deposits. Customers were also falsely promised a bonus for referring others, in the form of a multi-level marketing scheme.

To conceal their fraud, the defendants caused misleading trading statements to be posted online.

The complaint further alleges that at least 27 individual customers deposited at least $989,000 with one or more representatives of GTC.

In this case, the regulator seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and the Commission’s regulations.

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