Australian BitConnect promoter pleads guilty years after wife disappears

John Bigatton has pleaded guilty in Australia to a criminal charge of providing financial advice without the appropriate license for his role in promoting the failed Ponzi scheme BitConnect. 

BitConnect was a Ponzi scheme masquerading as a lending platform that offered people unsustainable yields on its token, BCC. Users were able to lend the token to the platform with the promise the funds were being deployed profitably. However, the rewards were inauthentic and the scheme eventually collapsed leaving investors without access to their funds.

Bigatton actively promoted this scheme from his social media as well as hosting ‘seminars’ around Australia, serving as national promoter for Australia for BitConnect.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) was aided in its investigation by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

The FBI was also involved in the investigation into BitConnect founder Satish Kumbhani, who was indicted in the Southern District of California. 

Read more: Judge says 800 victims of BitConnect scam can share $17M

Earlier reporting from Sunday Night paints Bigatton as a consummate hustler who had previously tried selling vitamins, running a gym, trading foreign currencies — anything that promised a big return.

Eventually, he saw the promised returns of BitConnect and joined up, encouraging a variety of other Australians to join the scheme.  

Bigatton’s wife, Madeline, also disappeared as the Ponzi scheme collapsed, with some of her family worrying that she was murdered.

Bigatton faces sentencing on July 5 of this year.

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