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The FBI Is On The Lookout For BitConnect Victims




Here’s a brief questionnaire you might not want to ignore.

For those who happened to have invested in the BitConnect coin (BCC) and became a victim of the BitConnect fallout of January 2018, the FBI is looking for you. The agency has posted a call on its website asking that potential victims fill out a questionnaire in order to assist the federal assessment of the BitConnect collapse.

Before shutting down, BitConnect users loaned their BCC to the company in exchange for promised returns based on how long the coins were on loan. The loans were placed into a four-tier investment system depending on the loan's dollar value, but regardless of what tier investors were in, BitConnect promised earnings of up to 40 percent per month.

Eventually, in January 2018, authorities in Texas and North Carolina filed cease and desist orders against BitConnect, claiming BCC was an unregistered security. Just a few days after the orders were filed, BitConnect announced it was closing its lending and exchange site. In the closure announcement, the company cited bad press, the cease and desist orders, and an apparent distributed denial-of-service attack as the reasons behind its decision to halt operations.

That January also saw Kentucky issue a temporary restraining order as part of a lawsuit against BitConnect; it froze the company's assets. Along with claiming BitConnect was both a pyramid and a Ponzi scheme, the Western District Court of Kentucky ordered the company to:

"(a) disclose all Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency wallet addresses, (b) all cryptocurrency trading account addresses, and (c) the identity of the holder/owner of any wallet or cryptocurrency address to which Defendants have transferred any Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency in the past 90 days, so that these assets can be monitored and traced."

Since then, the moves made by authorities in the BitConnect saga have done little to shed light on who was actually involved in the anonymously run site. So far, mostly regional heads have been the focus of arrests and investigations connected to BitConnect. In August 2018, the former head of BitConnect India, Divyesh Darji, was arrested by the Gudjarat Criminal Investigation Department after fleeing to Dubai following the company's closure. More recently, in January 2019, Australia's federal court placed a travel ban on and froze the bank accounts of John Bigatton, a promoter for BitConnect. The court's decision is part of an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which is looking into Bigatton's involvement with the company.

In its post looking for BitConnect victims, the FBI states the answers on the questionnaire may result in the agency reaching out to collect more information. While plenty of questions still surround BitConnect, the FBI's search raises one more: Does Carlos Matos, BitConnect's biggest fan, need to fill out a questionnaire, or will the "investor's" infamous video suffice?

Nicholas Ruggieri

Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.

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