SEC Files Charges Against Founder of American Bitcoin Academy in $1.2 Million Crypto Fraud Scheme

  • The case of Brian Sewell and the American Bitcoin Academy exposes a concerning trend where individuals exploit the fascination surrounding advanced technologies, such as AI and cryptocurrency, to deceive and defraud investors.
  •  Sewell’s fraudulent scheme, promising cutting-edge strategies backed by AI, sheds light on the importance of investor education and due diligence.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought charges against Brian Sewell, the founder of the American Bitcoin Academy, for orchestrating a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme that allegedly siphoned $1.2 million from eager students looking to delve into cryptocurrency investing.

In a press release on February 2, the SEC revealed that Sewell’s scheme revolved around the Rockwell Fund, a hedge fund he claimed would utilize advanced technologies such as AI and bespoke trading strategies with crypto assets to yield significant returns for investors. The SEC alleges that between early 2018 and mid-2019, Sewell’s course, ostensibly designed to demystify Bitcoin (BTC) trading complexities, served as a means to entice students into investing in the nonexistent Rockwell Fund.

Sewell, originally from Hurricane, Utah, and later residing in Puerto Rico, reportedly garnered substantial investments from 15 students, promising them substantial profits through his supposedly cutting-edge fund. However, the SEC claims that Sewell never implemented the advertised strategies and tools, and the fund never materialized. Instead, he allegedly used the funds received from students to purchase Bitcoin for himself.

In a twist of irony, Sewell’s digital wallet containing the purchased Bitcoin was reportedly hacked, resulting in a complete loss of the funds. The SEC’s Division of Enforcement Director, Gurbir S. Grewal, emphasized the severe nature of Sewell’s actions, highlighting the manipulation of lies to defraud students and the deceptive use of buzzwords like AI and crypto to mislead investors.

Both Sewell and the American Bitcoin Academy (ABA) have agreed to settle the charges without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, consenting to injunctive relief. The SEC has mandated Rockwell Capital Management to disgorge ill-gotten gains totaling $1.6 million, and Sewell faces a civil penalty exceeding $223,000, subject to court approval.

This case serves as a stark reminder to potential investors about the importance of conducting due diligence and verifying the credibility of investment opportunities, particularly those that leverage the allure of emerging technologies like AI and cryptocurrency. The SEC’s actions underscore its commitment to holding accountable those who exploit attention-grabbing technologies to attract and defraud investors.

Unveiling the Deceptive Veil: SEC Charges American Bitcoin Academy Founder in $1.2M Crypto Fraud Scheme

Brian Sewell, founder of the American Bitcoin Academy, faces serious allegations as the SEC charges him in a $1.2 million cryptocurrency fraud scheme. The case underscores the risks associated with fraudulent activities in the crypto space and serves as a cautionary tale for potential investors. Sewell’s misuse of technological buzzwords and manipulation of aspiring cryptocurrency enthusiasts highlights the need for due diligence when exploring investment opportunities, particularly in sectors prone to exploitation. As the legal proceedings unfold, the SEC’s commitment to holding accountable those who deceive investors with enticing technologies like AI and cryptocurrency remains evident.

 Disclaimer : This article was created for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. An asset’s past performance does not predict its future returns. Before making an investment, please conduct your own research, as digital assets like cryptocurrencies are highly risky and volatile financial instruments.

Author: Mehar Nayar

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