Judge Issues Judgment Against ‘Bitcoin Beautee’ in SEC Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme Case

Crime, News | February 29, 2024 By:

On Wednesday, January 31, 2024, U.S. Judge Richard D. Bennett of the District of Maryland issued a judgment in the case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Brenda Indah Chunga, also known as “Bitcoin Beautee”, for her involvement in an alleged cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme.

The SEC had filed a complaint on January 29th accusing Chunga and Australian national Xue Samuel “Sam” Lee of orchestrating a scheme called HyperFund that defrauded investors out of $2.7 billion. HyperFund was launched in 2020 and offered daily returns between 0.5-1% to investors through the sale of “membership packages” that were deemed securities by the SEC. However, according to the complaint, these returns were paid through money from new investors in what the SEC referred to as a “Ponzi scheme”.

Chunga allegedly promoted the scheme extensively online using her pseudonym “Bitcoin Beautee” and made presentations to US investors emphasizing the credentials of HyperFund’s founders like Lee. She received around $3.7 million from investor funds and the platform. The SEC also accused Chunga and others of making false statements to investors about partnerships with major companies and the background of founders.

When the scheme began to collapse in late 2021, promoters blamed technical issues, but the SEC stated investors could no longer withdraw funds by early 2022. The organizations behind HyperFund then restructured and rebranded multiple times. By November 2022, the sole means for investors to access their funds stopped working altogether.

In his ruling, Judge Bennett issued a judgment against Chunga, noting she had consented to the judgment and waived her right to appeal. The ruling permanently bars Chunga from further violations of federal securities laws and from participating in any crypto asset security offerings, though she can still purchase such assets personally. As part of the judgment, Chunga will also have to pay an amount for disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty, with the specific figures to be determined later.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.