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'Ponzi' Co-Founder of AirBit Club Receives A 12-Year Sentence

2023-09-27 15:56:35

Pablo Renato Rodriguez, a guilty fraudster, will also have to complete three years of monitored release following the completion of his 12-year jail term.


For his involvement in a $100 million pyramid scheme that claimed to be engaged in mining digital currencies, the co-founder of AirBit Club, a digital asset pyramid scheme that defrauded shareholders of over $100 million, was given a prison term of twelve years. Rodriguez, the co-founder of AirBit Club, was sentenced to almost seven months in prison after entering pleas of guilty to counts of a money laundering scheme in a district court in the USA in March.

In a press release issued on September 26, U.S. Representative for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams claimed that Rodriguez hunted on naïve users by making erroneous assertions about the use of their money in legal cryptocurrency trading and mining businesses. Rodriguez faces a 12-year prison term followed by another three of release on parole, as stated by District Court Judge George B. Daniels.

The sentenced criminal was additionally required to give up 3,800 Bitcoins (BTC), which are collectively worth $100 million, Rodriguez's Irvine home, $900,000 in cash that was taken from the real estate, and almost $1 million that had been grasped in the escrow account for a Gulfstream Jet. Dos Santos, Scott Hughes, Cecilia Millan, and Karina Chairez, the remaining accused, have all entered guilty pleas and have yet to receive decisions regarding their sentences.

In 2015, AirBit Club became available. Potential buyers were informed that AirBit Club generated earnings through the mining and exchange of cryptocurrencies and that participants could expect passive, assured daily profits. Nevertheless, from as early as 2016, participants who wanted to cash out their money were confronted with interruptions, arguments, and additional fees. They were also instructed to find prospective members in order to collect the returns.

After a US Homeland Security Investigation study, the club's owners, including Rodriguez, were accused by the DOJ in August 2020 of money laundering and wire fraud. In accordance with a report released on June 28 by blockchain research company TRM Labs, pyramid-type schemes involving cryptocurrencies would cost investors $7.6 billion in 2022.

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