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CFTC Files Civil Enforcement Action Against Bogus Crypto Exchange Debiex


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The U.S. commodities regulator revealed on Jan. 19 that it had filed a civil enforcement action against a bogus digital asset exchange platform. According to the Commission, Debiex customers were not aware that the entire set-up was a clever scam designed to dupe prospective investors.

Romance Scam Tactics

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced on Jan. 19 that it had filed a civil suit against Debiex, a bogus crypto exchange platform it accuses of fraudulently misappropriating $2.3 million in customer funds. The CFTC alleges that the exchange’s representatives used romance scam tactics to fleece millions from the five unnamed prospective investors.

The Commission also identified Zhāng Chéng Yáng as a relief defendant because he is suspected of enabling Debiex’s fraudulent acts at least once. Commenting on the Commission’s move to file a civil enforcement action against the defendants, the CFTC’s Director of Enforcement Ian McGinley, said:

“This case is an example of the Division of Enforcement’s core mission—bringing justice for victims, rooting out misconduct, and holding accountable those who violate the anti-fraud provisions of the CEA.”

Fake Websites and Money Mules

In its statement, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) explained how Debiex perpetrated the scam from March 2022 to the present. The elaborate scam included websites that mimic legitimate trading platforms, fake customer service, and money mules. Using these tools masterminds of the scheme were able to convince victims that Debiex was a bona fide crypto exchange, the CFTC added.

However, according to the Commission, Debiex customers were not aware that the entire set-up was a clever scam designed to dupe prospective investors.

The Commission in the meantime urged prospective investors to avoid falling victim to similar scams by always verifying a company’s registration with the CFTC before committing funds.

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