Crypto Charges Dominate CFTC’s Enforcement Actions in 2023
A new report from the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has revealed that more than 49% of the agency’s enforcement actions in 2023 were related to digital asset commodities, amounting to a total of 47 actions.
The enforcement results report, released by the CFTC, highlighted that these actions resulted in a staggering $4.3 billion in penalties, restitution, and disgorgement over the fiscal year. The report also stated that the CFTC filed high-profile complaints addressing frauds by major exchanges, individual Ponzi-schemers, and others.
One of the major actions taken by the agency involved charges against FTX, Alameda Research, and their executives, who were found guilty of a multi-billion dollar fraud against the defunct exchange’s customers. As a result, Sam Bankman-Fried, the boss of this crypto empire, now faces a maximum of 115 years behind bars after being found guilty of seven counts of conspiracy and fraud.
Additionally, charges against Binance and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, were filed in March for illegally operating a crypto derivatives exchange and willfully evading CFTC regulations and commodities laws. This case is still ongoing, with Binance seeking dismissal of the case in July due to unfounded claims.
The most significant civil monetary penalty issued by the CFTC this year was a $1.7 billion penalty from a South African crypto exec – the largest in the agency’s history. The defendant, Mirror Trading CEO Cornelius Johannes Steynberg, allegedly accepted 29,421 Bitcoin (BTC) from the public as part of an “international fraudulent multilevel marketing scheme.”
Furthermore, the agency successfully charged Mango Markets hacker Avraham Eisenberg for illegally obtaining $110 million from the Defi Protocol using price manipulation techniques.
In a statement regarding this year’s charges, Chairman Rostin Behnam expressed pride in the Division of Enforcement’s groundbreaking work in the digital asset space.
It is worth noting that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the CFTC’s sister U.S. market regulator, has also launched over 50 separate enforcement actions against crypto firms this year, including FTX, Binance, and Coinbase.
The emphasis on enforcing regulation in the crypto industry has become a significant priority for financial market regulators.
(Source: CFTC Report)
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