The six founders and organisers of the cryptocurrency pyramid AirBit Club will be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, with sentencing expected to be announced later this year.
The fraudulent organisation operated from 2015 to 2020, convincing investors that they would receive passive income through cryptocurrency mining and digital asset trading. Hundreds of millions were raised from the US, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe.
US prosecutor Damian Williams said the illicitly acquired wealth was spent on the purchase of luxury cars, real estate and other expensive goods.
"The defendants used the ever-growing appeal of digital currencies to lure millions of dollars from victims around the world. They seduced people with guarantees that their money would be invested in mining and cryptocurrency trading, but in reality they implemented a classic pyramid and misappropriated customer funds," said Williams.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently charged the organisers of crypto-firm BKCoin Management LLC with more than $100 million in cryptocurrency fraud.