- BitClub Network operator Joseph Abel has pleaded guilty to certain aspects of his role in the scam
- Abel is one of five who managed the Ponzi scheme from 2014 to 2019
- Two associates are in jail, another has pleaded guilty and the founder is awaiting charges.
Joseph Abel, one of the five operators of the Bitcoin Ponzi BitClub Network scheme, pleaded guilty to signing a false tax return and offering unregistered securities. Abel is the fourth member of the gang to plead guilty or already in jail for his part in the Bitcoin Code mining scheme that has grossed over $720 million, and the founder is the only member left to answer for his role in the crypt scam.
Abel joins the list of BitClub network inmates
Abel helped manage the BitClub Network for over five and a half years with Matthew Goettsche, Jobadiah Weeks, Silviu Balaci and founder Russ Medlin. Goettsche and Weeks are already behind bars and Abel will have to serve up to five years in prison after filing his guilty plea. Like Abel, Balaci also pleaded guilty in July and is awaiting sentencing.
The founder Medlin remained the only member of the gang still at large, but he was arrested in Jakarta for sexual assault on minors. The seriousness of this crime may mean that he may not be charged for his role in the BitClub Network, at least not immediately.
Five and a half years of fraud for over $720 million
The BitClub Network scam was launched in 2014 disguised as a Bitcoin mining service. The service was legitimate on the surface, with the first investors getting the promised benefits, but behind the scenes the operation was turning into nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, with subsequent investors paying the first.
Warnings of the BitClub Network’s legitimacy began to pop up in 2018, when investor rewards began to fall, even though the gang maintained the plan until it had raised over $720 million, with investments financing the gang’s lifestyle – and occasionally used to pay investors.