The Department of Justice has revealed in a press release that three individuals involved in a global fraud and money laundering operation connected to the cryptocurrency scheme, AirBit Club, have been sentenced to prison.
An attorney named Scott Hughes, who played a significant role in laundering approximately $18 million in fraudulent AirBit Club proceeds, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Cecilia Millan, a senior promoter of AirBit Club, will serve five years, while another senior promoter named Karina Chairez has received a sentence of one year and one day.
Pablo Renato Rodriguez, co-founder of AirBit Club along with Gutemberg Dos Santos, was previously sentenced to 12 years in prison.
All of these sentences were handed down as part of their guilty pleas.
AirBit Club Operators Ordered to Forfeit $100 Million
The defendants in the AirBit Club fraud case have been ordered to forfeit their ill-gotten gains, which amount to approximately $100 million. These assets include U.S. currency, Bitcoin, and real estate.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams emphasized the roles played by these individuals in perpetuating the pyramid scheme. Millan and Chairez aggressively solicited investments from unsuspecting individuals, while Hughes exploited his legal position to launder money for AirBit Club. Williams stressed the importance of holding all individuals involved in cryptocurrency investment schemes accountable for their actions.
The scheme, which began in late 2015, falsely promised investors guaranteed profits through cash investments in club “memberships.” AirBit Club was marketed as a cryptocurrency multi-level marketing venture that claimed to generate returns from cryptocurrency mining and trading.
However, victims soon discovered that their investments were far from secure, facing difficulties withdrawing their funds and encountering hidden fees.