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BitClub Co-Creator Pleads Guilty to $722 Million Ponzi Scheme

  • Silviu Catalin Balaci, co-creator of BitClub, has pled guilty to charges related to his role in running the Ponzi scheme.
  • BitClub defrauded investors of more than $722 million in bitcoin, with Balaci and a co-defendant referring to their target audience as “sheep.”

The co-creator of the massive crypto Ponzi scheme BitClub has pled guilty for his role in the scam which defrauded investors of at least $722 million in bitcoin. 

According to a report by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the 35-year-old Romanian programmer Silviu Catalin Balaci has pled guilty to conspiring to engage in wire fraud and offering and selling unregistered securities in connection to his role in the BitClub Network. Balaci was arrested by authorities in Germany after being previously charged by indictment alongside four co-defendants in December 2019. 

The report reads, 

From April 2014 through December 2019, the BitClub Network was a fraudulent scheme that solicited money from investors in exchange for shares of purported cryptocurrency mining pools and rewarded investors for recruiting new investors into the scheme.

The report continues, saying Balaci and co-defendant Matthew Brent Goettsche described the target audience for the BitClub Network as “dumb” investors and “sheep.” The two also reportedly said they would be “building this whole model on the backs of idiots.”

Balaci claimed to have changed the figures displayed as bitcoin mining earnings, at the behest of Goettsche, in order to make the BitClub Network appear more profitable. 

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