The Securities and Exchange Commission charged five people who were part of Bitconnect's allegedly unregistered raise of over $2 billion in securities from retail investors.
The complaint alleges that the five marketed and sold for its lending program, without registering them as securities or registering as broker dealers. Several crypto projects that raised capital in "initial coin offerings" have been charged with raising capital without registering with the SEC.
The global investigation spanned the world: "The Commission appreciates the assistance of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Ontario Securities Commission, the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority, and the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission," the SEC said.
Bitconnect, which shut down in 2018 after state regulators filed cases against it, was well-known for over-the-top promotional events and online videos. A number of crypto industry experts had called it a Ponzi scheme.