AirBit Club Fraudsters Face Justice: Jail Time & Asset Forfeiture
Three individuals involved in the AirBit Club cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme are now facing legal consequences, including imprisonment and the forfeiture of illegally gained assets.
AirBit Club, an international fraud and money laundering network, deceived investors by pretending to be a legitimate cryptocurrency mining and trading company.
On Tuesday, District Judge George B. Daniels handed down sentences to Scott Hughes, Cecilia Millan, and Karina Chairez for their roles in the scheme. This decision follows the sentencing of AirBit co-founders Pablo Renato Rodriguez and Gutemberg Dos Santos, who received 12-year prison terms on September 26th.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams explained, “Rodriguez, Dos Santos, Hughes, Millan, and Chairez traveled extensively, both in the United States and abroad, including Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe.
They conducted elaborate expos and community presentations to persuade victims to purchase AirBit Club memberships. Victims were fraudulently coerced into buying memberships with cash, including in the Southern District of New York.”
Hughes, a lawyer who had previously represented AirBit’s founders in another investment scheme called Vizinova, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He had laundered approximately $18 million of AirBit’s proceeds.
Millan, who held a senior-level position in promoting AirBit, received a five-year prison sentence. Chairez, also a senior-level promoter within the scheme, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.
Additionally, the defendants were collectively ordered to forfeit the proceeds of the scheme, including U.S. currency, Bitcoin (BTC), and real estate, with an approximate total value of $100 million.
Damian Williams commented, “At the highest levels of promotion, Millan and Chairez aggressively sought investments and deceived hardworking and unsophisticated investors for personal gain.
Hughes, in his role as an attorney, played a significant part in laundering millions from AirBit Club’s fraudulent activities, giving it an undeserved appearance of legitimacy. Pyramid schemes like AirBit Club rely on facilitators such as Hughes, Millan, and Chairez to operate.”