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CFTC Seeks $429M Penalty Against Ponzi Operator Who Ghosted Them

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In the case of United Kingdom-based Control-Finance and its AWOL operator Benjamin Reynolds, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission asked the court to order Reynolds pay nearly half a billion dollars on Aug. 20.

In a legal action that began in June of last year, the CFTC has been unsuccessful in its attempts to locate Reynolds. The commission alleges that Reynolds laundered 22,858 Bitcoin from May to October of 2017 — by their estimates worth $147 million at the time, but as of press time valued at $269 million.

The CFTC’s proposed judgment asks for $429 — nearly three times their estimate of Reynolds’ BTC take:

“Defendant shall pay a civil monetary penalty in the amount of four hundred twenty nine million dollars ($429,000,000) (“CMP Obligation”). If the CMP Obligation is not paid immediately, then postjudgment interest shall accrue on the CMP Obligation beginning on the date of entry of this Order.”

The proposed judgment may be an effort to scare Reynolds out of hiding. The CFTC initially requested default judgment against him in April, admitting that they had no luck tracking him down.



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London Stock Exchange-listed firm inks FCA’s approval for crypto services

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Mode Global Holdings, a London Stock Exchange-listed fintech group, has secured major regulatory approvals for cryptocurrency and fintech operations in the United Kingdom.

The company announced Thursday that Mode has secured its Electronic Money Institution license and AMLD5 registration from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

The AMLD5 registration has been granted to Mode’s crypto arm Fibermode Limited, establishing it as an official crypto asset firm in the United Kingdom, pursuant to the amended regulations on money laundering, terrorist financing and transfer of funds.

The AMLD5 registration is a requirement for crypto-related businesses in the country that fall within the scope of money laundering regulations. According to the announcement, Mode is the fifth company to have received this registration to date since the FCA became the official AML supervisor of the crypto industry in the U.K. in January 2020.

Alongside the AMLD5, Mode’s subsidiary Greyfoxx Limited also acquired the EMI license, which enables Mode to offer a “range of innovative financial services” to both businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom, the announcement notes.

Following the acquisition of new regulatory approvals, Mode is planning to further expand its crypto services, including decommissioning its investment product known as the “Bitcoin Jar.” The product aims to allow Mode customers to use Bitcoin (BTC) to generate BTC interest rather than simply holding it in a wallet or on an exchange.

Mode CEO Ryan Moore noted that the new regulatory developments provide a major step in Mode’s mission to deliver a trusted and regulated environment. “It means we now have the ability to scale our operations and continue delivering innovative payments products for our customers under our own EMI licence. Both the EMI licence and the AMLD5 registration ensure business transparency, strong oversight and give our customers confidence in our offering,” he said.

Related: UK regulator warns against 111 unregistered crypto companies… and FOMO

The latest news comes shortly after a member of the British Parliament pointed out major difficulties in the process of registering crypto firms under the FCA’s AML regulations in late May. Economic secretary John Glen elaborated that FCA was not able to process and register all applications by its previous deadline due to a significant number of firms failing to adopt robust AML control frameworks as well as employ proper staff.