A Cryptocurrency Named After The Fictional Money In Star Trek Is ‘Worthless’ And ‘A Scam,’ New Lawsuit Alleges

The complaint says the Bitcoin Latinum founder lured an investor in with the promise that the producers of Star Trek had already invested $20 million.

An investor in a scarcely-known cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Latinum — named for a type of money that exists only in the fictional Star Trek universe — says that he was defrauded out of more than $15 million.

A lawyer for the investor, Arshad Assofi, wrote in a new lawsuit submitted earlier this month that the cryptocurrency, which claimed to be “greener” and “faster” than conventional bitcoins, is “worthless” and a “scam.” The attorney also stated in his complaint that Assofi was told by Bitcoin Latinum’s founder, Don Basile, that the project had received “$20 million from the producers of Star Trek,” among other alleged investors that did not exist.

Paramount, the production company behind the famed science fiction series and its numerous spinoffs, denied any connection to the cryptocurrency.

“No one is familiar with this claim or with this ‘Bitcoin Latinum,’” emailed Jennifer Verti, a Paramount spokesperson. “This is not something that Star Trek is officially involved in at all.”

Meanwhile, Carlos Nevarez, the director of marketing for Bitcoin Latinum, told Forbes by phone that Basile never asserted an investment from Star Trek producers. Nevarez added that Assofi’s allegations of fraud are “completely false.”

“As far as I know, [Assofi] bought coins and the coins lost value,” he said.

Eugene Rome, Assofi’s attorney, declined Forbes’ request for comment.

The world of cryptocurrency is awash with scammers and companies that don’t have actual products. In 2021, Gary Gensler, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the crypto world is “rife with fraud, scams, and abuse.”

Bitcoin Latinum has been endorsed by Phil Hellmuth, a well-known professional poker player. He has been photographed numerous times at poker tables wearing Bitcoin Latinum-emblazoned baseball caps. Consequently, the cryptocurrency has garnered some attention in the professional poker community.

Basile previously served as CEO for two tech startups — Violin Memory and Fusion-IO — over a decade ago. More recently, Basile founded Roman DBDR, a SPAC based in Las Vegas, among other ventures.

Bitcoin Latinum and Basile were previously sued twice earlier this year by two groups of other separate aggrieved investors who also claimed similar securities fraud in cases filed in federal courts in Michigan and northern California.

While the northern California lawsuit has since been withdrawn, the Michigan case remains ongoing. Attorneys for Bitcoin Latinum wrote in a court filing last month in the Michigan case that the company did not violate any securities law and “denied that the Plaintiffs have been damaged by any conduct of the Defendant.”

In an undated statement on its website that appears to have been written in early 2022, Bitcoin Latinum called these lawsuits “frivolous.” In new court papers submitted Tuesday, Bitcoin Latinum’s attorneys indicated that they would file a motion to dismiss the case brought by Assofi. Later that same day, November 29, Bitcoin Latinum filed its motion to dismiss the complaint.


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