The Texas Securities Commission recently issues a cease and desist order to Eric Darwin Balusek, also called the “Bitcoin Pope.” According to Commissioner Travis J. Iles, the “Bitcoin Pope” has been running fraudulent crypto scams that promise investors huge returns.
About the Crypto Scams
The Texan regulator said that Balusek was propagating his scam to Texans through two sites called Pek Universe and Forex Birds. If Balusek does not comply with the order, he will face a fine of up to 10,000 USD, two to ten years in prison, or both.
The order states that potential investors are promised returns of over 100 percent. It is worth noting that since the orders were issued, the two sites are still running. The investment scam is still being advertised to Texans and it does not seem as though the fraudsters intend to shut down the Forex Birds site.
The Pek Universe site promises investors that if they invest $500 or more, they will receive a 1.4% profit for 10 days as well as a 5% affiliate fee. It claims to offer the services of top expert traders in the world. Besides that, it also claims to offer services such as missile defense, nuclear security, and environmental cleanup.
On Forex Birds, investors are told they could receive 50% profits in a day. It claims that it is registered with the Australian and “Europian” Securities and Investment Commissions. The site mentions that its liquidity providers include UBS, Barclays, and Citibank. There is also a claim that they have a huge insurance policy of up to one million dollars and all this comes at no added costs.
False and Misleading
The Texas Securities Commissions says that those mentioned in their order have made statements that are false and misleading. In the order, the commission does not mention whether Balusek has made any money from his scam websites thus far.
Not the First Time
In July, Visionary Financial reported on the BitClub scam that managed to steal over $700 million from their victims. Silviu Catalin Balaci, a Romania programmer pled guilty to his role in the scam. Balaci admitted they called their victims “Sheep” and “dumb” and that their whole scheme was built on the backs of idiots. The scammers had led investors to believe that their funds would go into three Bitcoin mining pools. In the same month, a report revealed that Bitcoin scammers were on course to scam people of around $48 million by the end of 2020.
Signs to Watch Out For
The latest scam by the Bitcoin Pope has tried to be original in how it attempts to scam its victims. However, there are a few obvious signs. Firstly, the sites have a lot of spelling mistakes and poor grammar in general.
Another red flag is that no supporting documents are given to back their claims of working with some of the largest banks in the world. Besides that, they do not provide any evidence to back up their claim of being regulated in Australia and Europe.
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