A Texas man was arrested Thursday and charged with fostering a bitcoin-related Ponzi scheme, in what is the first securities fraud case involving the crypto currency ever lodged by US prosecutors.
Prosecutors said the defendant, Trendon Shavers, is accused [PDF] of promising investors "absurdly high interest" in exchange for turning over their bitcoin to him. Investors were falsely promised that their bitcoin was recoverable at any time, the authorities said.
"Shavers used a new currency, but the same old reprehensible tricks," said George Venizelos, an assistant FBI director in New York. "He claimed to offer a bitcoin market-arbitrage strategy. In reality, it was nothing more than an insidious scheme motivated by greed. Today, Shavers’ jig is up. He finds himself under arrest and charged in Manhattan federal court."