NEW YORK A Texas man was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison on Thursday for operating a bitcoin-related Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say resulted in the first U.S. criminal securities fraud case related to the digital currency.
Trendon Shavers, who operated Bitcoin Savings and Trust, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan to forfeit $1.23 million and pay restitution in the same amount for operating what the judge called a “class Ponzi scheme.”
“You defrauded innocent people,” he said. “You did it, in the last analysis, for personal gain.”
Shavers, who pleaded guilty in September 2015 to one count of securities fraud and who now supports himself as a cook, said in court he had “royally messed up,” and had lost friends and embarrassed his family as a result of his fraud.
“I don’t think this is something I’m ever going to get over,” he said.
Shavers, a Prosper, Texas, resident who went by “pirateat40” online, was arrested in November 2014, two months after a federal judge in Texas ordered him to pay $40.7 million in a related U.S. Securities