According to the regulator, Forsage, a cryptocurrency project, has raised more than $300 million “from millions of retail investors worldwide”

SEC accuses group of Russians of running Ponzi scheme

02.08.2022 - 08:15

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1 min

What’s new? The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged 11 individuals with organizing and promoting Forsage, “a fraudulent crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme.” The defendants include four Forsage founders from Russia, Georgia, and Indonesia, as well as three US promoters engaged by the founders to support the company on social media. According to a press release by the SEC, through the fraudulent scheme, Forsage raised more than $300 million “from millions of retail investors worldwide.”

Press release on the SEC’s website

What is known about the charges? According to SEC filings, in January 2020, Vladimir Okhotnikov, Jane Doe aka Lola Ferrari, Mikhail Sergeev, and Sergey Maslakov launched Forsage, a website that allowed retail investors to transact through Ethereum, TRON, and Binance smart contracts. However, payments to early investors were made at the expense of later depositors’ assets, which is a Ponzi scheme and fraud. Dune Analytics estimates that the creators of Forsage attracted about $1,156 billion to the project.

Previously, the Celsius lending platform was accused of running a Ponzi scheme. KeyFi claimed that it lured new depositors with high-interest rates to pay off earlier lenders. Later, a similar lawsuit against Celsius came from investors of the bankrupt platform.

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