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AirBit Club Co-Founder Receives 12-Year Prison Sentence for Multimillion-Dollar Crypto Ponzi Scheme

The platform promised guaranteed profits to investors through memberships but was a fraudulent operation resulting in losses for many unsuspecting individuals.


  • Pablo Renato Rodriguez, co-founder of AirBit Club, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar crypto Ponzi scheme.
  • AirBit Club promised guaranteed profits to investors through memberships but actually operated a fraudulent scheme, leading to losses for unsuspecting individuals.

Justice Served: 12-Year Prison Sentence

In a ruling handed down by U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels, Pablo Renato Rodriguez, the co-founder of the infamous crypto Ponzi scheme, AirBit Club, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. 

AirBit Club, co-founded by Rodriguez and Gutemberg Dos Santos in 2015, promised guaranteed profits to investors in exchange for cash investments in club "memberships." The scheme preyed on unsuspecting individuals, promoting itself as a legitimate cryptocurrency mining and trading company. However, behind the scenes, Rodriguez and his co-conspirators orchestrated an elaborate money laundering operation to conceal their ill-gotten gains.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated, "Rodriguez co-founded and led an international multimillion-dollar pyramid scheme that preyed on mostly unsophisticated investors with false promises... Instead of investing on behalf of investors, Rodriguez hid victims' money in a complex laundering scheme using Bitcoin... Rodriguez is one of many recent examples of individuals exploiting cryptocurrency to commit fraud."

Rodriguez and his accomplices, including Scott Hughes, Cecilia Millan, and Karina Chairez, promoted AirBit Club through lavish expos and presentations worldwide. Investors were fraudulently induced to buy memberships in cash, and they were provided with an online portal that falsely displayed profits from cryptocurrency trading and mining.

The scheme unraveled when victims attempted to withdraw their funds and were met with excuses, delays, and hidden fees. Rodriguez and his co-conspirators used various methods, including third-party crypto brokers and an attorney trust account managed by Hughes, to launder the scheme's proceeds.

Before AirBit Club, Rodriguez and Dos Santos had already faced legal action from the Securities and Exchange Commission for another pyramid investment scheme called Vizinova. Despite paying fines for their involvement in Vizinova, they continued their fraudulent activities with AirBit Club.

Rodriguez, who is 40 and from Irvine, California, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay a forfeiture of $65 million. His co-conspirators are also awaiting sentencing.

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