Owner of ‘Ponzi-like’ crypto hedge fund ordered to pay back $84M losses

A fraudulent crypto hedge fund owner must pay back almost $84 million to investors who fell for his Ponzi-like scheme, a US federal court ruled on Monday.

The Illinois District Court ordered Sam Ikkurty and his various firms to be issued a summary judgment while dismissing Ikkurty’s own requests for summary judgment. The court wants restitution of $83,757,249 and the disgorgement of $36,967,285 that “shall be offset by any sums paid toward restitution.”

Ikkurty ran Jafia LLC, Ikkurty Capital, Rose City Income Fund, Rose City Income Fund II, and Seneca Ventures. Investors were promised lucrative returns, from a 15% annual income on their funds via proof of stake mining and digital tollbooths to potential returns of 2,708% from a $100 investment. 

Using both Rose funds Ikkurty invested in various cryptocurrencies, such as OHM, ETH, and WBTC. However, the court said that “In the end, defendants did not return any net profits to participants.” 

Read more: UK shuts down ‘trust me bro’ crypto firm that promoted $1.7B Ponzi

The crypto hedge funds then began redistributing late investor funds to early investors in a scheme the court described as “something akin to a Ponzi.” 

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged Ikkurty in 2022 for failing to register as a commodity pool operator, overseeing a fraudulent commodity pool, and conducting a deceptive scheme. 

Ikkurty argued they are not subject to regulation from the CFTC and shouldn’t be under the jurisdiction of the court as they didn’t trade with commodity interests or engage in contracts for the sale of commodities.

However, the court claimed, “There is no question that this court has subject matter jurisdiction. The CFTC brought the pending claims under the Commodity Exchanges Act, giving this court federal question jurisdiction.”

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