CFTC Wins Record Penalty Payment Of $3.4B


A record-breaking penalty of $3.4 billion has been recently handed by a Judge in a lawsuit that was brought by the CFTC- a United States financial regulator- which involves a fraudulent scheme that involves Bitcoin.

A statement made on the 27th April from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission stated that Texas District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ordered Cornelius Johannes Steynberg to pay the amount due to his role in perpetrating a commodity pool scheme that was fraudulent which involved foreign currency transactions, and Bitcoin. Steynberg, the CEO of Mirror Trading International Proprietary Limited and a South African national, was ordered to pay $1.73 billion in restitution to the defrauded victims, along with an additional civil monetary penalty of $1.73 billion. 

CFTC Awarded Penalty Of $3.4 Billion

The CFTC stated that this was the highest civil monetary penalty that was ordered in any case under the Commodity Futures institution, and this was also the largest fraudulent scheme that involved Bitcoin in any such case. The order explained that as the head of MTI, the South African national was quite engaged in an international marketing scheme that was fraudulent in order to solicit Bitcoin from members of the public for participation in a commodity pool which was unregistered. The value of this was summed at $1.7 billion as of March 2021. 

According to the order from 27th April, the CEO was found guilty of fraud in connection with retail foreign currency transactions, registration violations, fraud committed by an associated person of a commodity pool operator, and complete failure to comply with the regulations of the CPO. As a result, the CEO has been banned permanently from trading in CFTC-regulated markets.