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HyperVerse Promoter “Bitcoin Rodney” Arrested in US: Report

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read

HyperVerse crypto promoter Rodney Burton, better known as “Rodney Bitcoin,” has been arrested for his role in an elaborate crypt investing scheme, court documents reveal.

A $58 million debt


Court documents filed on January 4th show Burton has been charged with operating and conspiring to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. While Burton was apprehended in Florida, his case is awaiting transfer to the state of Maryland.

According to further investigation conducted by the Guardian, Burton allegedly promoted the unregulated investment company HyperFund, one alias of the crypto ponzi scheme run by Ryan Xu and Sam Lee.

Both Xu and Lee served as the directors of bitcoin mining company, Blockchain Global, before the Australian-based organization collapsed, leaving behind a $58 million debt to creditors.

Will the real Steven Reece Lewis please stand up?


While Blockchain Global had previously touted a man named Steven Reece Lewis as its CEO, an investigation by the Guardian published last week revealed he may not exist at all.

The publication’s investigation found that both the University of Leeds and the University of Cambridge had no record of Lewis attending, despite him claiming he was a graduate.

Outside of an account on X supposedly belonging to Lewis, there appears to be no history of him on the internet outside of his connection to HyperFund.

According to an affidavit by the IRS, the scheme operated by having users pay a daily fee to be a “member” of HyperFund, in exchange, they would receive passive income in part from “large-scale crypto mining operations.”

However, these mining operations were a sham.

“In fact, HyperFund did not have any such operations,” the affidavit reads. “To the extent the investors saw the accrual of any rewards, those investors were paid with funds collected from more recent investors.”

According to the affidavit, Burton received over $7.8 million in wire transfers from customers believing they were investing in HyperFund from June 2020 to January 2022.

The first to fall


According to blockchain analytics firm, Chainalysis, the HyperVerse scam accounted for an estimated $1.3 billion in customer losses.

While various countries have flagged HyperVerse for its suspected Ponzi scheme since 2021, Australian regulators have yet to take any formal action against the company, with many in the crypto community upset at the lack of accountability.

Burton’s arrest marks the first in connection to the international HyperVerse scheme. It remains unclear what, if any, charges will be brought against Xu and Lee.

“Hyperverse CEO Steven Reece Lewis”. Source: a video screenshot,
DST NATIONAL CHANNEL / YouTube