US law enforcement agencies detained the organizer of fraudulent crypto Ponzi schemes, one of which was promoted by Hollywood actor Stephen Seagal.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicted three individuals, Kristijan Krstic, John DeMarre and Robin Enos, of fraud "through two fraudulent and unregistered digital asset securities offerings." One of them, John DeMarr, who is the founder of Start Options and Bitcoiin2Gen that operated in 2017 and 2018, was arrested. He is criminally charged by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
Krstic (also known as Felix Logan), a Serbian and Australian citizen who lived in the Philippines during the above mentioned period, was the formal founder of two cryptocurrency fraudulent schemes, the SEC said in its statement. American citizen DeMarr was the main promoter of the Ponzi schemes in the United States. American citizen Robin Enos is accused of drafting fraudulent promotional materials that Enos knew would be disseminated to the investing public.
“By the time their schemes collapsed, they had fraudulently raised, directly or through affiliates and promoters, at least $11.4 million from more than 460 investors in Start Options and Bitcoiin2Gen, none of which has been returned to investors,” the SEC claim reads.
According to the complaint, they falsely claimed Start Options was "the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity" and "consistently rated the best and most secure Bitcoin exchange by independent news media." They also advertised an unregistered offering of Bitcoiin2gen securities in the form of B2G digital tokens in January 2018.
The famous Hollywood actor Steven Seagal participated in the Bitcoiin2gen ICO advertisement. In February 2020, the SEC accused Segal of "illegal advertising" of B2G tokens, claiming that the actor did not reveal that he was promised $250,000 in cash and $750,000 in B2G tokens in exchange for his participation in a marketing campaign. It was later reported that Segal had settled the charges with the SEC.