From 2014 until this month, the men operated BitClub Network, which solicited money from investors in exchange for shares in purported cryptocurrency mining pools and rewarded them for recruiting new investors.
Matthew Brent Goettsche, 37, Jobadiah Sinclair Weeks, 38, and Joseph Frank Abel, 49, were arrested Tuesday and charged with conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito in New Jersey said in a statement. Two more defendants, whose names weren’t disclosed, remain at large. Goettsche referred to potential BitClub Network investors as “dumb” and “sheep,” saying he was “building this whole model on the backs of idiots,” according to the statement. In September 2017, Goettsche sent an email to a co-conspirator in which he suggested BitClub Network would allow them to “retire RAF!!! (rich as f*ck),” prosecutors said.