The country’s top commodities regulator said Thursday that a U.S. judge ordered the chief of Bitcoin (BTC), pool operator Mirror Trading International to pay $3.4 Billion in penalties and restitution.

The regulator stated that the amount is the highest civil monetary fine ever ordered by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

In June 2022, the CFTC accused Cornelius Johannes Steynberg of fraud. The CFTC claimed that the “controlling individual” at MTI had accepted 29,421 BTC from 23,000 Americans (worth more than $1.7billion at the time the BTC was accepted) for operating an unlicensed commodities pool scheme.

According to the CFTC, MTI is liquidating in South Africa. Steynberg, a fugitive of South African law enforcement, has been held in Brazil since December 20, 21.

The order holds MTI “liable for fraudulent conduct in relation to retail foreign currency transactions (forex), fraud by an associate of a commodity pool operators (CPO), violations of registration, and failures to comply with CPO regulations.”

Steynberg will also be permanently banned from registering at the CFTC and trading on any of the markets regulated by this watchdog.

Read more: CFTC charges South African Bitcoin Club Mirror Trading International with $1.7B fraud

Parikshit Miishra is the editor.