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SA CEO fined $3.4bn for bitcoin fraud



A federal judge in Texas has ordered a South African company to pay $3.4 billion (R62.35 billion) in what has been described as the US commodities regulator’s largest fraud case involving Bitcoin as reported by Dispatch Live.

Cornelius Johannes Steynberg, who was charged by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in July, was ordered to pay $1.7 billion in restitution to victims of the scheme and another $1.7 billion as a civil penalty, marking a new record for any CFTC case.

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Steynberg, last known to reside in South Africa, has yet to comment on the matter. The CFTC claimed that Steynberg’s company, Mirror Trading, solicited bitcoin online from thousands of people to operate a commodity pool and then misappropriated at least 29,421 bitcoin valued at more than $1.7 billion from about 23,000 participants from the US, including over 1,300 in Texas, between May 2018 and March 2021.

According to court documents, Judge Lee Yeakel granted a default judgment against Steynberg in the Western District of Texas.


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Photo by David McBee

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