The Australian financial regulator has issued a ban on BitConnect frontman John Bigatton, preventing him from working in financial services for the next seven years.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) announced that it had issued the ban on the one-time National Representative of BitConnect, following the collapse of the scheme which left investors some AU$3.7 billion out of pocket.
Instrumental in the BitConnect scam, Bigatton has been described as a “born salesman,” and was the subject of investigation by the Australian regulator for a number of months since the collapse.
Online digital currency platform BitConnect has been described as a “Ponzi scheme,” which saw a number of Australian residents lose substantial sums of money. Bigatton served in his role as National Representative for Australia from August 2017 to January 2018, during which time many investors were duped into losing their life savings.
According to the regulator, Bigatton was giving unlicensed financial advice, while misleading investors as to the integrity and offer from BitConnect. The regulator decided Bigatton was not a fit and proper person to provide financial services, while finding he lacked the training and competence to do so.
The decision is the culmination of an investigation into Bigatton which saw the freezing of his assets in 2019, alongside a travel ban imposed by the Federal Court of Australia.
Bigatton now has the chance to appeal the findings before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, should he choose to do so.
The case of BitConnect serves as a warning to digital currency investors to be wary, especially around investments that promise quick and unrealistic returns. Replicated worldwide, the BitConnect scam has led to billions in losses from unsuspecting investors.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission have said the investigation into Bigatton remains ongoing.
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