Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) — Trendon Shavers, founder of Bitcoin Savings and Trust, was charged with fraud and accused of masterminding a $4.5 million Ponzi scheme, according to federal prosecutors in Manhattan who said it was the first U.S. securities-fraud prosecution tied to the electronic currency.

Shavers, 32, who operated the firm that made virtual currency-based investments through the Internet, raised at least 764,000 bitcoins through his business, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. At the peak of the scheme, Shavers raised and had in his possession about 7 percent of all the bitcoins in public circulation, Bharara said.

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