Bitcoin Trader Blacklisted by FINRA over $1.5 Million BTC Scam
A Colorado-based bitcoin (BTC) trader is one of 27 individuals recently blacklisted by the United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). On March 25, 2019, CNBC reports that the BTC trader was part of a $1.5 million bitcoin scam which also included his brother who is currently on the run from U.S. law enforcement.
Bitcoin Trader Makes FINRA “Naughty List”
Daniel Todd Levine of Englewood, Colorado has been barred by FINRA from engaging in trading activities on account of his involvement in a bitcoin scam to the tune of $1.5 million. According to a report by CNBC, Levine is one of 27 blacklisted individuals published by FINRA in its recent monthly update of disciplinary actions.
Of the 27 individuals, the financial regulator suspended 16 people while the other 11 have been banned from ever working in the securities industry. The affected traders either defrauded people of their investments or ran unregistered securities investment products.
In Levine’s case, trouble began for the Colorado-native when his brother allegedly absconded with more than $1.5 million meant for investment in BTC. FINRA revealed that Levine sold an investment platform that promised subsidized bitcoin purchase between 60 percent and 90 percent of market value.
In return, the investors were expected to make huge profits with Levine targeting commissions running into $2 million from the deal. However, Levine’s brother, who resides overseas and was supposed to engineer the purchase of the discounted BTC reportedly disappeared with the money.
Reports indicate that Levine’s brother has been a fugitive of the law since 2005, hiding somewhere in Europe. The Colorado native did not admit or deny his guilt but agree to an order effectively banning him from the state’s securities arena.
Regulators Shine Spotlight on Cryptocurrency Crimes
Levine’s case isn’t an isolated occurrence as there are reports from many different countries about fraudulent investments involving cryptocurrencies. In its Q4 2018 Anti-Money Laundering Report, CipherTrace declared that cryptocurrency scams constituted almost $750 million of the $1.7 billion reported cryptocurrency thefts for the year.
In light of the increasing instances of these crimes, regulators and law enforcement agents around the world continue to arrest and prosecute these cryptocurrency scammers. BTCManager has previously reported on similar cases on bitcoin and cryptocurrency fraud in places like India, Hong Kong, and Dallas (United States).
As always, investors should endeavor to do their due diligence before putting up money in any scheme. Unlicensed and unregistered platforms are often preliminary indicators of a fraudulent investment vehicle.