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US judge fines Texas man $40 million for bitcoin ponzi scheme

The case against Bitcoin Savings and Trust and its founder Trendon Shavers came to a close Friday after a judge found Shavers guilty of “knowingly and intentionally” operating a cryptocurrency ponzi scheme. Shavers’ case first drew headlines after the complaint was filed last July when his defense tried to argue that it wasn’t a ponzi scheme because bitcoin isn’t money. The judge quickly struck down that notion, and has now ordered the $38.6 million in illegal profits and $1.8 million in interest to be paid back, along with a $150,000 fine for each defendant, according to Reuters.