The SEC charges in a $300 million crypto Ponzi scheme targeting Latinos


WASHINGTON DC – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged 17 individuals associated with CryptoFX LLC, a Texas-based company, with orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded over 40,000 investors, primarily from the Latino community, out of $300 million accumulated US dollars. The SEC’s legal action announced today follows an emergency intervention in September 2022 that initially disrupted the fraudulent operation and indicted the company’s key operators, Mauricio Chavez and Giorgio Benvenuto.

The program, which ran from May 2020 to October 2022, involved individuals from Texas, California, Louisiana, Illinois and Florida who served as leaders of the CryptoFX network. They allegedly promised investors returns of 15 to 100 percent through crypto asset and forex trading. However, the SEC’s complaint alleges that the majority of the funds were not used for trading but were instead diverted to pay previous investors and for personal enrichment, including commissions and bonuses for the defendants.

The complaint also details that two defendants, Gabriel and Dulce Ochoa, continued to solicit investments even after the court ordered them to stop the scheme, with Gabriel Ochoa directing the investors to withdraw their SEC complaints in order to recover their investments . Another defendant, Maria Saravia, is accused of misleading investors by claiming the SEC’s lawsuit was a fraud.

The SEC’s charges against the Ochoas, Saravia and other defendants include violations of the antifraud, securities registration and broker registration provisions of the federal securities laws. In addition, Gabriel Ochoa is accused of violating whistleblower protection regulations. The SEC is seeking permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties against each defendant.

Two of the defendants, Luis Serrano and Julio Taffinder, have, without admitting or denying the allegations, agreed to final judgments barring them from future violations of relevant securities laws and have agreed to pay a total of over $68,000 in penalties and levy to pay, and interest.

The SEC’s investigation, led by the Fort Worth Regional Office, continues as it pursues legal battles to seek justice for victims. This case serves as a reminder of the risks associated with unregistered investment offerings and the importance of verifying the legitimacy of investment opportunities.

The information in this article is based on a press release from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This article was created with the assistance of AI and reviewed by an editor. More information can be found in our terms and conditions.


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