The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced today that it has banned the former National Representative of BitConnect cryptocurrency investment scheme, John Louis Anthony Bigatton, from providing financial services for seven years.
BitConnect was an online cryptocurrency platform. The platform operated BitConnect Lending Platform, a cryptocurrency Ponzi investment scheme which allegedly scammed investors out of $US2.6 billion ($3.7 billion).
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Namely, after the platform’s collapse, $4 billion disappeared, with many Australian residents losing their hard-earned savings in the crossfire. From August 2017 until January of 2018, Bigatton was the Australian National Representative.
Bigatton has been referred by many as a born salesman for his efforts in duping Australian consumers into investing in the scam. Following BitConnect’s collapse, ASIC has been investigating the frontman.
ASIC: Bigatton Was Providing Unlicensed Product Advice
According to a statement from the regulator, Bigatton was providing unlicensed financial product advice and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to financial services and products while he was the Australian National Representative of BitConnect.
During its investigation, the Australian watchdog found that Bigatton is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services, is not adequately trained, or is not competent, to provide a financial service or financial services and is likely to contravene a financial services law.
Last year, the Federal Court of Australia placed travel bans and freezing orders on Bigatton on ASIC’s request, which is investigating his business affairs. According to the statement, the regulator’s investigation is continuing.
The decision announced today by the agency can be appealed by Bigatton at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
BitConnect’s lending platform was shut down in January of 2018, as Finance Magnates reported. This came closely on the heels of Texas Securities Commissioner, Travis J Iles’s serving BitConnect with a cease and desist order on January 4, 2018. Since BitConnect was legally based in the UK, the order did nothing except to stop the company from dealing directly with Texan residents.