18 May

John Bigatton, a resident of Carss Park, New South Wales, has pleaded guilty to a charge of providing unlicensed financial services in the Sydney District Court on Thursday. The charge stems from his involvement in promoting BitConnect, a now-defunct cryptocurrency platform known for its high-yield investment program (HYIP).

According to prosecutors, BitConnect operated as a ponzi scheme, enticing investors with promises of exceptionally high returns on their cryptocurrency investments. Bigatton admitted in court to promoting BitConnect's "Lending Platform," which required users to invest in the platform's native token, BCC, in exchange for guaranteed interest rates.

Court documents reveal that Bigatton promoted BitConnect through various channels, including social media posts and seminars conducted across Australia. He allegedly held face-to-face meetings with potential investors, urging them to participate in the program.

Crucially, Bigatton did not possess the necessary Australian Financial Services (AFS) license to offer financial services. His promotional activities were found to contravene Section 911B(1) of the Corporations Act.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigated Bigatton's actions and referred the matter for prosecution, which is now being handled by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). As part of a plea agreement, a separate charge related to operating an unregistered managed investment scheme was dropped.
Bigatton's sentencing hearing is set for July 5, 2024.

May 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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