BitFunder Founder Pleads Guilty To US Fraud Charges
Jon Montroll, the operator of the now-defunct Bitcoin stock exchange BitFunder has pleaded guilty to United States Federal charges of justice and securities fraud.
The 37-year-old, also known as Ukyo pleaded guilty to the obstruction of justice and admitted that he provided false balance statements to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in the investigation of fake 6000 Bitcoin BitFunder hack back in 2013.
Montroll founded BitFunder in 2012 as a platform to sell virtual shares of businesses for Bitcoin and WeExchange, a cryptocurrency exchange and depository that was established along with BitFunder. Users were scammed into depositing all of their Bitcoin investments which were then used for personal gains by Montroll. It was speculated that he used the money for luxurious items like expensive hotel suites and private jets. He also indulged in fraudulent activities on BitFunder itself that also contributed to his luxurious spendings.
In July 2013, Montroll invested in a security that he called Ukyo. A loan that was taken from his own screen name ‘Ukyo’. The main selling point of the Ukyo. A loan was that users would earn a daily interest from their investments and could get their shares back as and when they pleased. Then at the end of 2013, hackers hacked into WeExchange and stole the 6000 bitcoins. As a result, this halted Montroll’s plans of deceiving users and he was also unable to pay them back in the Ukyo. Loan scheme or even BitFunder and WeExchange.
Prosecutor reports reveal that even though Montroll was financially unstable after the hack, he continued to dupe users and therefore propagated the vicious cycle. The recent hearing also brought to light how Montroll deceived the SEC and lied under oath as well.
Montroll is not the first case related to cryptocurrency in this aspect. Earlier this month, Alexander Vinnik, the main accused in the $4 billion BTC e-money laundering scheme was found guilty by a Greek court.
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