• The founders of Forsage, a DeFi crypto investment platform, have been indicted by the federal grand jury in the District of Oregon for running a $340 million Ponzi scheme.
• The defendants used smart contracts to divert funds from investors and promoted Forsage through social media as a legitimate business.
• The Justice Department has committed to holding accountable fraudsters who cheat investors, including those in the DeFi space.
Forsage Platform Founders Indicted in $340 Million Ponzi Scheme
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that the founders of a DeFi crypto investment platform, Forsage, have been indicted by the federal grand jury in the District of Oregon for running a $340 million Ponzi scheme. This marks the first charged criminal fraud case involving a DeFi Ponzi scheme.
The indicted include Vladimir Okhotnikov, Mikhail Sergeev, Sergey Maslakov, and Olena Oblamska – all citizens of the Russian Federation.
How They Operated
The defendants allegedly touted Forsage as a decentralized matrix project based on network marketing and smart contracts. They conducted self-executing contracts on Ethereum (ETH), Binance Smart Chain, and Tron blockchains that were consistent with their fraudulent activities such as diverting funds from investors and promoting their project as legitimate through social media platforms when it was not true.
Justice Department’s Commitment
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr., of the DOJ’s Criminal Division asserted: „The department is committed to holding accountable fraudsters who cheat investors, including in the emerging DeFi space.“ He further noted that this indictment is an example of their ability to use investigation tools such as blockchain analysis to reveal frauds involving crypto and digital assets even amidst emerging technology like DeFi platforms.
This case highlights how important it is for people to be aware when investing into any cryptocurrency or digital asset projects so they do not fall victim to scams or fraudulent activities such as Ponzi schemes. It also serves as a reminder that no one is above accountability despite how new or sophisticated technologies may be – especially when it comes to stealing money from innocent victims around the world.