U.S. Federal Authorities Fine Bitcoin Scammer $2.5m

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) first anti-fraud enforcement action involving Bitcoin has culminated with a federal court ordering the operators of a Ponzi scheme to pay $2.5m in penalties and restitution.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York imposed the fine against Gelfman Blueprint Inc. (GBI) and its chief executive, Nicholas Gelfman of Brooklyn, for running the scheme from early 2014 until early 2016.

Gelfman was accused of fraudulently soliciting more than $600,000 from at least 80 customers — money that supposedly was to be pooled into a commodity fund to trade in Bitcoin using a proprietary algorithm.

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