On 17 November 2020, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that Mr John Bigatton had been charged following ASIC’s investigation of Mr Bigatton’s conduct in promoting the former online cryptocurrency lending platform, BitConnect.
One count of operating an unregistered managed investment scheme, being the BitConnect Lending Platform in Australia (which carries with it a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $42,000).
One count of providing unlicensed financial services in, amongst others, providing advice at seminars that he conducted at various location around Australia (which carries with it a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $42,000);
Four counts of making a false or misleading statement affecting market participation when making statements that were likely to induce investors to apply for, or acquire, interest in the BitConnect Lending Platform (which carries with it a maximum penalty for each charge of 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $945,000, or a fine of 3 times the proceeds derived from the commission of the offence).
The matter was listed for its first mention on 17 November 2020 and was adjourned for further mention on 2 February 2021.