US Authorities Arrest ‘Bitcoin Rodney’ Burton for $7 Million HyperVerse Crypto Fraud
HyperVerse promoter ‘Bitcoin Rodney’ Burton was accused of a $7 million fraud investment scheme and arrested today in US’ Maryland.
United States authorities arrested and charged Rodney Burton, also known as ‘Bitcoin Rodney,’ the alleged promoter of the HyperVerse cryptocurrency project. He is accused of defrauding over $7 million through a fake investment scheme.
The charges were filed by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on January 5th, while Burton was subsequently arrested on Friday in Florida.
HyperVerse, operating under various names such as Hyperfund, HyperCapital and HyperNation, was an unincorporated organization formed around June 2020. The organization allegedly made false claims, asserting that investors buying ‘memberships’ would gain daily passive rewards ranging from 0.5% to 1%, continuing until HyperFund doubled or tripled the investor’s initial investment.
“A network of HyperFund promotors, in the District of Maryland and elsewhere, made fraudulent promotional presentations to investors and potential investors”said Andrew J. Accardi is a special agent at the IRS’s Criminal Investigations department in the filing.
Burton among others, received 562 wire transfers or cashier’s checks from individuals, amounting to $7,851,711.
The HyperVerse cryptocurrency scheme led to thousands of individuals losing millions of dollars. The operation was run by an entity named HyperTech and promoted and overseen by the chief executive officer, Steven Reece Lewis, who appears not to exist.
Crypto Frauds Trigger Community Concerns
Increasing frequency of fraudulent activities within crypto-related projects has become a growing concern, among investors and the broader industry prompting heightened scrutiny and responses from authorities.
Recently, YouTube and social media influencer Logan Paul announced plans to refund $2.3 million to certain investors who contributed to his CryptoZoo project. This play-to-earn game, was initially announced and promoted in August 2021, and aimed to allow players to buy, sell, breed, and trade “exotic animals” in NFTs using cryptocurrencies. However it was never released.
In addition to refunds, the influencer filed a cross-claim lawsuit against CryptoZoo lead developers Eduardo Ibanez and Jake Greenbaum in response to an initial lawsuit brought by a participant in February 2023. The participant alleged that the CryptoZoo team engaged in a “fraudulent venture.”
Amidst growing frauds in crypto-related projects, the arrest of Rodney Burton highlights the need for heightened vigilance. As investigations unfold, the cryptocurrency industry faces increased scrutiny, revealing the challenges posed by fraudulent ventures.
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