The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again filed fraud charges against a crypto operation. The SEC alleges that MCC International Corp. (MCC), which does business as Mining Capital Coin Corp., its founders Luiz Carlos Capuci, Jr. (aka Junior Caputti or Capuci) and Emerson Souza Pires (Pires), and two other entities controlled by Capuci, CPTLCoin Corp. and Bitchain Exchange pursued unregistered offerings and fraudulent sales of investment plans called mining packages to thousands of investors. On April 21, 2022, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a temporary restraining order against all of the defendants and an order freezing the defendants’ assets.
According to the SEC’s complaint, the defendants netted approximately $8.1 million from the sale of the mining packages and $3.2 million in initiation fees.
The SEC claims that since at least January 2018, MCC, Capuci, and Pires sold mining packages to 65,535 investors worldwide and promised daily returns of 1 percent, paid weekly, for a period of up to 52 weeks.
MCC also allegedly represented that the weekly profits were a result of “profit-sharing” and that MCC earned profits from its operations involving cryptocurrency mining, trading stocks and foreign exchange, and trading cryptocurrency on digital asset trading platforms through the use of arbitrage trading and semi-automatic robotic trading.
The SEC’s complaint describes MCC as a “Potemkin Village for a digital age.”
The complaint also alleges that, in its early days, MCC investors were promised returns in Bitcoin. At a later point, the defendants required investors to withdraw their investments in tokens called Capital Coin (CPTL), which was MCC’s own token.
In addition, the complaint alleges that MCC investors were required to redeem their CPTL on Bitchain. The SEC describes Bitchain as a fake crypto asset trading platform.
The complaint further states that when investors attempted to sell their CPFT tokens on Bitchain, errors occurred and they were required to purchase another package or forfeit their investments.
Kristina Littman, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, said the complaint alleges that Capuci and Pires took every opportunity to get money from unsuspecting investors promising outlandish returns. Meanwhile, the ploy funded a lavish lifestyle.
“The restraining order and asset freeze helps preserve investor assets and puts a stop to the defendants’ alleged ongoing fraudulent enterprise.”