Joseph Abel, a promoter for a crypto mining Ponzi scheme admitted his involvement in the fraudulent solicitation today. He was one of the 5 people nabbed by the authorities in the US concerning the Bitclub Ponzi case.
Tax fraud scheme
Joseph Abel is a California resident who admitted to engaging in tax fraud and selling unregistered securities linked to Bitclub Network. It was a dubious crypto mining scheme worth $722 million. The 50-year-old appeared before the US District Judge Claire C. Cecchi. He pled guilty to two counts of subscribing to a false tax return for the tax year 2017 and also for offering unregistered securities.
Bitclub is being touted as the world’s biggest Bitcoin scam. The US Department of Justice indictment highlights it has a Ponzi scheme that was being run by a group of international criminals. The other four co-defendants in the case are Russ Albert Medlin, Matthew Brent Goettsche, and Jobadiah Sinclair Weeks. They have been charged with a conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Abel could face 8 years in prison
Abel was arrested in December 2019. His court proceedings were conducted via video conferencing. Under his plea agreement, the maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is five years in prison with a fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or victim’s loss. He can also face a maximum of three years in prison, alongside a fine of $100,000 for tax charges.
His sentencing date has been set for January 27, 2021.
Bitclub solicited money from investors between April 2014 and December 2019, in exchange for shares of a crypto mining pool. Abel was working as a large-scale promoter for the Bitclub Network. He was rewarded for bringing new investors to the scheme during the 6 years of its operations.
Abel admitted that he created videos and gave speeches and presentations about the Bitclub Network throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, and the US. He confirmed that the network never ran the Bitcoin mining pool they promised. He also asked US-based investors to work with a virtual private network or VPN to hide their real IP addresses and avoid detection from authorities. He also hid the $1 million he earned via Bitclub in his tax returns.