Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Man Charged with Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme

The SEC today charged a Texas man and his company with defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme involving Bitcoin..

The SEC alleges that Trendon T. Shavers, who is the founder and operator of Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST), offered and sold Bitcoin-denominated investments through the Internet using the monikers “Pirate” and “pirateat40.”  Shavers raised at least 700,000 Bitcoin in BTCST investments, which amounted to more than $4.5 million based on the average price of Bitcoin in 2011 and 2012 when the investments were offered and sold.  Today the value of 700,000 Bitcoin exceeds $60 million.

The SEC alleges that Shavers promised investors up to 7 percent weekly interest based on BTCST’s Bitcoin market arbitrage activity, which supposedly included selling to individuals who wished to buy Bitcoin “off the radar” in quick fashion or large quantities.  In reality, BTCST was a sham and a Ponzi scheme in which Shavers used Bitcoin from new investors to make purported interest payments and cover investor withdrawals on outstanding BTCST investments.  Shavers also diverted investors’ Bitcoin for day trading in his account on a Bitcoin currency exchange, and exchanged investors’ Bitcoin for U.S. dollars to pay his personal expenses.


  1. Sounds like perfectly normal fractional reserve banking. :)

  2. HA! If you do this type of stuff with fractional reserve notes they'll let you get away with it, even after repeated warnings, until the ponzi scheme reaches well into the billions of dollars.

    Try it with BTC? SHUT. DOWN. These guys are a bunch of desperate losers.