- BitClub Network operator Joseph Abel has pleaded guilty to aspects of his role in the scam
- Abel is one of five who ran 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 Bitcoin Ponzi scheme BitClub Network, has pleaded guilty to charges of subscribing to a false tax return and offering unregistered securities. Abel is the fourth member of the gang to either have pleaded guilty or already be in prison for their part in the Bitcoin mining scheme which took in over $720 million, with the founder the only remaining member yet to answer for his role in the crypto scam.
Abel to Join the List of BitClub Network Jailbirds
Abel helped operate the BitClub Network for over five and a half years alongside Matthew Goettsche, Jobadiah Weeks, Silviu Balaci, and founder Russ Medlin. Goettsche and Weeks are already behind bars, and Abel will now face up to five years in prison after lodging his guilty plea. Like Abel, Balaci pleaded guilty in July and is also awaiting sentencing.
This left founder Medlin as the only remaining member of the gang at large, but he was arrested in Jakarta for underage sexual assault. The seriousness of this crime may mean that he may not face charges for his role in BitClub Network, at least not right away.
Five and a Half Year Scam Netted Over $720 Million
The BitClub Network scam launched in 2014 masquerading as a Bitcoin mining service. The service was legitimate on the surface, with early investors getting their promised benefits, but behind the scenes the operation was turning into nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, with later investors paying off the early ones.
Warnings about the legitimacy of BitClub Network began popping up in 2018 as investor rewards began to tumble, although the gang kept the scheme going until they had raked in over $720 million, with the investments funding the gang’s lifestyle – and occasionally being used to pay out investors.