Renato Rodriguez, co-founder and one of the leaders of the AirBit Club fraud scheme, pleaded guilty to a felony fraud charge in the United States. He joins the list of other scam ringleaders who have pleaded guilty in the case that left millions of dollars in losses.
According to court documents in the case, provided by the tracking site DocketBitd, Renato Rodriguez faced his change of plea hearing on Wednesday, March 8, where he signed his guilty plea for the AirBit Club case, under the crime of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
AirBit Club’s other directors, Cecilia Millan, Jackie Aguilar, Karina Chaires and Scott Hughes, also pleaded guilty to various crimes including fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.
Renato Rodriguez’s guilty plea brings to five the number of ringleaders who have surrendered to the U.S. justice system, which has been following the trail of this fraud scheme for several years and succeeded in dismantling it in August 2020.
Of the other co-founder of AirBit Club, Gutemberg Dos Santos, there is still no news. However, there could be a hearing in which the Brazilian-born businessman may change his plea, as suggested by the court documents of the case.
Evgeniy Valerievich, a victim of the scam, stated that he does not know how the amount for refunds, if any, could be determined, as nothing has been reported about it. He also recalled that those affected no longer have access to their personal accounts.
Therefore, he considered it important for the court handling the case to request the complete AirBit Club database. In his opinion, this is the way the victims will be able to prove that they were registered in the scheme “and that they have their funds frozen”.
The sentence against Renato Rodriguez will be known next July 25, in a hearing to be held at 10 a.m. and presided over by Judge George B. Daniels. This is the jurist who has been in charge of handling the entire AirBit Club case and who received the plea agreements from the other implicated parties last week.
Victims no longer have access to their personal accounts
AirBit Club was a Ponzi scheme based on offering profits in exchange for investments in cryptocurrencies. For this case it is estimated that losses exceeded USD 20 million. It was one of the first entities that engaged in scamming in the name of Bitcoin.