A Los Angeles man pleaded guilty Wednesday in San Diego federal court to participating in what prosecutors called a “textbook Ponzi scheme” that defrauded cryptocurrency investors worldwide of more than $2 billion.

Prosecutors said 44-year-old Glenn Arcaro sat atop the North American branch of the pyramid investment scheme BitConnect. Arcaro, who pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, admitted in his plea agreement to earning “no less than $24 million from the BitConnect fraud conspiracy.”

As part of his plea, Arcaro must pay back that money to investors, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

“The BitConnect scheme is believed to be the largest cryptocurrency fraud ever charged criminally,” prosecutors said in the news release.

Arcaro’s plea came the same day that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil…

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