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Jacob Orvidas: A Cautionary Tale in the World of Cryptocurrency Investments

In 2017, Jacob Orvidas ventured into the cryptocurrency market, offering an alluring investment opportunity to four individuals. He tantalizingly promised them the chance to trade leveraged bitcoin in a commodity pool, assuring “equal proportionate profits based on each’s contribution level.” The prospect of substantial returns was enticing, particularly when Orvidas claimed that a previous client had turned $100,000 worth of bitcoin into a staggering $2.7 million. However, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has since refuted this claim, labeling it as false.

Orvidas’s communications with potential investors further raised suspicions. In one conversation, he said, “Crypto trading is a joke. It’s like printing money… It’s nice when you have coins to margin trade on because you can open a high leverage short, dump your bags, and make a massive profit on the short.” Such statements, while alluring to novice investors, were misleading and indicative of the deceptive nature of his scheme.

The CFTC’s investigation uncovered a web of deceit. Orvidas had made empty promises to investors, relying on fabricated spreadsheets to bolster his claims. When the time arrived to fulfill his commitments, he concocted excuses for his inability to pay out despite losing nearly all the funds he had gathered.

Confronted with the CFTC’s findings, Orvidas settled with the agency. The settlement dictates that he must repay $2 million to the deceived investors and pay a $500,000 monetary penalty. Moreover, a 10-year registration and trading ban has been imposed on Orvidas, ensuring he stays clear of similar ventures in the foreseeable future.

While Orvidas conceded to most of the CFTC’s findings, he contested the total restitution owed to the pool participants. This case was a collaborative effort between the CFTC and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Orvidas settled with the SEC over securities law violations on the same day.

The case of Jacob Orvidas serves as a stark warning about the potential risks inherent in the cryptocurrency market. Ian McGinley, CFTC Director of Enforcement, stressed the agency’s dedication to safeguarding ordinary individuals, noting that while many digital asset cases are complex, the Orvidas case was “a straight-up fraud: simple and old as time.” He reassured the public that the CFTC would continue using all available resources to combat fraud across all markets.

CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero echoed McGinley’s sentiments, urging potential investors to exercise caution in the crypto space. She advised investors to verify registration statuses and be wary of offers that sound “too good to be true.”

In the ever-expanding realm of cryptocurrency, the case of Jacob Orvidas underscores the potential pitfalls and the paramount importance of due diligence. Investors are urged to tread carefully as digital currencies gain traction and allure. The collaboration between the CFTC and SEC exemplifies regulatory bodies’ commitment to fostering a safer trading environment in this rapidly evolving landscape.


Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.