The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Monday that it has “indicted 11 individuals for their roles in the creation and promotion of Forsage, a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme. aka ponzi).” The securities regulator explained that the Forsage scheme has raised more than $300 million from millions of retail investors around the world, including in the US.
The 11 defendants are the 4 founders of Forsage, the 3 promoters of the US-based plan. The founders were last known to live in Russia, the Republic of Georgia and Indonesia.
The securities watchdog detailed that Vladimir Okhotnikov, Jane Doe (aka Lola Ferrari), Mikhail Sergeev and Sergey Maslakov launched the website Forsage.io in January 2020 to allow investors to sell Retailers participate in transactions via smart contracts on Ethereum, Tron and Binance chain.
Forsage investors profited by recruiting new people to the program, the SEC said. “Forsage is also alleged to have used assets from new investors to pay previous investors. that in a typical Ponzi structure.”
Carolyn Welshhans, acting director of crypto assets for the SEC, commented:
As the lawsuit alleges, Forsage was a fraudulent pyramid scheme that was deployed on a large scale and aggressively marketed to investors.
The SEC charged the defendants with violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Two of those charged have agreed to settle the charges but neither admit nor deny the charges. They will be required to pay criminal and civil fines. Both settled for court approval.