back to article Colorado cryptocoin execs spark up blunt '$722m ponzi scheme' criminal charges after investments go up in smoke

Three men have been arrested and charged with masterminding what prosecutors claimed is a $722m cryptocurrency ponzi scheme. Coloradans Matthew Goettsche, 37, and Jobadiah Weeks, 38, have been hit with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A third man in the case, 49-year-old Joseph Abel, of California, was charged with conspiracy …

  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Holmes

    "cryptocurrency ponzi scheme"

    "but I repeat myself"

  2. Foxglove

    In reality, however, it is unlikely a judge would hand down a sentence anywhere near those lengths.

    Why, are they white gentlemen?

  3. IceC0ld Silver badge

    SO, grab 700 MILLION income, yet the 'penalty' is five years max - POSSIBLY, but unlikely, and a 250 THOUSAND fine, this doesn't balance out, where's the deterrent, would I take a multi MILLION income deal for a few thousands fine and a couple of years behind bars, or, more likely an open prison country club .....

    HELL YEA

    madness, whatever happened to making the punishment fit the crime

    1. Phil Kingston

      If you want a multi-million income, just send me 50k and i guarantee a sweet return.

    2. Adam Azarchs

      The fine might be "only" $250k but they'll still have to give back the rest of the money. That's not a fine but rather restitution.

  4. ReadyKilowatt

    What's pot got to do with it?

    Colorado is known for more than it's hemp industry. It's also got a thriving microbrewery industry, and will soon dominate the psilocybin market.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Ponzi schemes

      And it has the "Museum of the American Cowboy". How appropriate.

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: Ponzi schemes

        And some gnarly off-piste dude...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cryptocurrencies

    They did really great in fueling crime, to the point I think the whole concept will collapse due to that ...

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    How is it possible

    With all that has been said about virtual currencies, how is it possible that people are gullible enough to fork over real money in order to "invest" in funny money.

    If you're dealing in nonsense money, you do not sell shares, you give a mining program and tell people to download it and run it. That is the only form of investment that is required.

    Anything else and you should just call the cops and keep 'em talking.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: How is it possible

      Scams will stop working the day after the human race goes extinct.

      This particular scam revolved around crypto currencies, but Ponzi schemes have been around for years*, and they'll keep on suckering people for years to come.

      * technically they were around for at least a hundred years before Charles Ponzi was even born.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: How is it possible

        All a ponzi scheme needs is a crook, human greed and the existence of money. In as much as banking was purportedly invented around 2000BC in Assyria, (1400 years before the earliest coins) my guess is that the first Ponzi scheme probably dates to about 1999BC.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: How is it possible

        And Ponzi quite possibly didn't even know he was running a con. Per Bulgatz's book, he seems to have been poorly educated and innumerate, and did essentially no bookkeeping - he just let the cash pile up in his office, and would basically grab some when someone wanted to cash out. It was the "advisors" who joined him when his scheme (which involved international postal coupons) became popular who understood what was going on, and profited from it.

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