The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges in another case of alleged crypto fraud. This time the “crypto pyramid scheme” apparently targeted the Spanish-speaking community. According to the SEC, Francisley Valdevino Da Silva, Juan Antonio Tacuri Fajardo, Ramon Antonio Perez Arias, and Jose Ramiro Coronado Reyes have been charged for roles in creating and promoting Forcount Trader Systems, Inc. This alleged scam raised more than $8.4 million from hundreds of retail investors.
According to the complaint, from approximately July 2017 to November 2020, Brazilian national Da Silva and US-based promoters Tacuri, Perez, and Coronado defrauded investors with the promise of guaranteed returns resulting from investments in “memberships” in Forcount Trader Systems.
The Forcount memberships claimed to gave investors interest in profits from its crypto trading and mining operations. Investors could also participate in in the firms referral program.
The complaint alleges that the defendants enabled the ploy while using the funds to buy homes, cars and luxury goods. Forcant is said not to have done any crypto trading nor mining.
“As the complaint alleges, Da Silva, Tacuri, Perez, and Coronado deceived investors, most of whom were members of Spanish-speaking communities, with false promises of high returns on crypto-asset related investments,” said Thomas P. Smith, Jr., Co-Acting Regional Director of the New York Regional Office. “Protecting investors from fraudulent pyramid schemes where promoters pitch high returns and complex commission structures is part of the SEC’s mission to make markets fair and open to all.”
In a parallel action, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has announced criminal charges against Da Silva and Tacuri.
The investigation is ongoing.