The founders of AWS Mining and NovaTech are faced with a billion-dollar lawsuit for allegedly scamming investors out of more than a billion dollars. BYBIT/FLICKR.COM


  • The defendants allegedly defrauded investors out of over $1 billion within a period of four years
  • Millions were already lost when AWS Mining collapsed, but the Petions started NovaTech to further defraud investors
  • James has asked the court to order the defendants to pay back "all" amounts or assets taken from investors

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday filed a lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange NovaTechFx and crypto mining firm AWS Mining Pty. Ltd. for allegedly engaging in "illegal pyramid schemes" that defrauded investors for over $1 billion.

"Thousands of New Yorkers were falsely promised better lives if they simply trusted NovaTech and AWS Mining with their money, but it was all a lie. These cryptocurrency companies targeted immigrant and religious communities with promises of financial freedom but instead stole their money and drained their life savings," AG James said as per a press release from her office.

An investigation by the AG's office found that for around four years, out of investors deposit of more than $1 billion worth of digital assets in NovaTech only less than $26 million was traded on the platform. The fraud affected more than 200,000 people, including over 11,000 New Yorkers.

AWS Mining promoters Cynthia and Eddy Petion, James Corbett, Martin Zizi and Frantz Ciceron allegedly promised significant returns to investors, plus bonuses if they can recruit other investors. AWS Mining eventually collapsed in 2019, causing investors who trusted in the company to lose millions of dollars in crypto.

Cynthia and Eddy Petion went on to start NovaTech after AWS Mining's collapse and promised investors with high returns. They allegedly "falsely marketed NovaTech as a registered hedge fund broker." Like AWS Mining, NovaTech ultimately collapsed in May 2023 after investors were locked out of their accounts for months and lost hundreds of millions worth of cryptocurrencies.

A New York nurse invested $25,000 into NovaTech, "believing it to be a Christian investment group," as per James' lawsuit. Most of her funds were lost to the scam, save a few thousand dollars.

James now requests that the court "permanently" bar the defendants from engaging in any business related to the sale of securities and commodities, including crypto, within or from New York. She also demands that NovaTech and AWS Mining be directed to "pay restitution of all amounts or assets obtained from investors" in connection to the pyramid scheme, as well as her office's costs and fees.

The AWS Mining and NovaTech schemes are similar to a case in 2022 wherein the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged 11 individuals for their roles in establishing and promoting Forsage, which turned out to be a fraudulent crypto pyramid scam.

Meanwhile, James has targeted some crypto companies her office finds to have engaged in fraudulent activities, including Barry Silbert's Digital Currency Group (DCG). Her office reportedly investigated DCG over its business dealings with now-bankrupt crypto lender Genesis last year.