Nevada Man Pleads Guilty in $722 Million Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Scheme – A Nevada man has acknowledged helping in the laundering of cash intended for the Bitclub Network, a $722 million ponzi scheme. In addition, he also admitted to tax evasion.
Gordon Brad Beckstead, a 57-year-old from Henderson, Nevada, pled guilty in connection with the Bitclub Network fraud, according to the US Department of Justice. The following are the details of the announcement:
“A Nevada man admitted today that he helped to launder funds for Bitclub Network, a $722 million cryptocurrency scam.”
The Bitclub Network, according to the DOJ, was a fraudulent scam that spanned from April 2014 until December 2019. Matthew Brent Goettsche, the site’s developer and operator, was charged in December 2019.
In connection with the scheme, Russ Albert Medlin, Silviu Catalin Balaci, Joseph Frank Abel, and Jobadiah Sinclair Weeks were also indicted at the same time.
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According to the DOJ, the fraudsters “solicited money from investors in return for shares of claimed cryptocurrency mining pools and rewarded investors for bringing in new investors into the scam.”
Beckstead, a former CPA and Bitclub Network investor, acknowledged conspiring with Goettsche and others to launder money obtained through the Bitclub Network.
He also assisted in the preparation of Goettsche’s fake federal tax returns for the year 2017 and 2018, which allowed him to avoid paying more than $20 million in federal income taxes.
Beckstead testified to the DOJ that he knew the reports were false because they neglected to declare more than $60 million in money collected through the Bitclub Network’s operations.
According to the Justice Department, Beckstead pleaded guilty to “one count of conspiracy to launder money and one count of assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.”
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The DOJ clarified that the money laundering charge carries a penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000, or double the the value of the property involved in the transaction, while the tax charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $100,000.