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Crypto Ponzi Scheme Convictions, Texas VPN Searches Soar, Bitcoin To Exceed $80K

Two men, David Brend and Gustavo Rodriguez, were found guilty in New York of wire fraud conspiracy for their roles in IcomTech, a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that defrauded tens of thousands of investors out of tens of millions of dollars.

Knox Harrington profile image
by Knox Harrington
Crypto Ponzi Scheme Convictions, Texas VPN Searches Soar, Bitcoin To Exceed $80K

Two men, David Brend and Gustavo Rodriguez, were found guilty in New York of wire fraud conspiracy for their roles in IcomTech, a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that defrauded tens of thousands of investors out of tens of millions of dollars. The company claimed to specialize in crypto mining and trading but used funds from new investors to pay earlier ones. Rodriguez set up fraudulent investment packages and manipulated daily returns, while Brend and others diverted investor money for personal use on real estate, travel, and lavish events to attract more victims. The scheme collapsed in 2019 when IcomTech failed to fulfill withdrawal requests.

The IcomTech conviction follows other recent crypto fraud cases, including Roman Sterlingov, co-founder of Bitcoin Fog, being convicted of laundering money through a Bitcoin mixing service, and the SEC suing Utah-based Green United for selling $18 million in fake crypto mining equipment. These cases underscore the ongoing risks of fraud and crime in the cryptocurrency industry.

In other news, searches for VPNs spiked over 400% in Texas after Pornhub and other adult sites blocked access to the state to avoid complying with a new law requiring age verification via government ID for any site with over one-third adult content. A VPN is now the only way for Texans to access Pornhub. The site's parent company, Aylo Holdings, plans to continue fighting the law on constitutional grounds.

Finally, Binance CEO Richard Teng predicted Bitcoin will surpass $80,000 as institutional money pours into newly approved spot Bitcoin ETFs. Bitcoin is up 55% this year despite a recent dip and sell-off that Crypto.com's CEO called a "healthy move" to reduce leverage. Industry leaders expect further growth, with some anticipating corrections to the mid-$50,000s before new record highs.

Knox Harrington profile image
by Knox Harrington

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