A significant player in the $722 million Ponzi scam known as BitClub Network was Matthew Goettsche.
When Goettsche was arrested in 2019, he entered a not guilty plea. However, Goettsche has declared them a flight risk and placed them under arrest.
Goettsche challenged his arrest after unsuccessful plea discussions, and a $20 million bail was imposed in December 2020.
Goettsche was granted home detention after paying his bond sum.
Goettsche is still having trouble with his release terms even two years later. Goettsche has petitioned a judge for release even though tens of millions in illegal gains are still at stake.
*cue the tiniest violin orchestra in the world*
Going through the repercussions of his conduct affects more than simply Goettsche. He complains that it is “immensely onerous” to always be in the company of a third-party caretaker.
The wife, mother, and mother-in-law of Mr. Goettsche… coordinate their daily schedules to be at home with him.
Goettsche’s inability to access the internet, computers, or live off of rent is also a “burdensome” restriction.
Goettsche submitted a motion on September 21 asking that his release terms be altered to:
curfew from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.; no need for a third-party custodian until Goettsche leaves his home (limited to Colorado); complete access to computers and the internet with the condition that he doesn’t access or transfer cryptocurrencies; and the release of rental revenue that is now escrowed
Goettsche argues that the successful measures put in place to stop him from escaping should be relaxed because he hasn’t fled.
Mr. Goettsche has been out on pretrial release without incident for more than twenty months, subject to considerable and extremely stringent requirements because of the Government’s unjustified fears that he may flee.
Goettsche believes that he is free to leave at any moment if he so chooses, regardless of the constraints the court imposes.
The government’s claim that no bail terms could guarantee Mr. Goettsche’s attendance has been disproven over time.
Mr. Goettsche hasn’t run away or disregarded even one bail modification or restriction. The concerns raised by the government during the custody, bail, and appeal processes have been disproved over the course of nearly twenty months after release.
Goettsche contrasts himself with co-defendant Joby Weeks, whose release terms were far less onerous.
Co-defendant Joby Weeks is presently under curfew with Pretrial Services’ approval and without any protest from the government.
He is allowed to attend family functions, parties, religious services, and family homes in Colorado as long as a third-party caretaker is with him and Pretrial Services is informed in advance.
The fact that Weeks has pled guilty is, of course, the main distinction between Weeks and Goettshche. He also lacks access to a fraction of the financial resources Goettsche enjoys.
Goettsche argues that the measures recommended will
I do make it simpler for Mr. Goettsche to access case-related discovery, enhancing his capacity to prepare his defense at trial;
(ii) to lessen the enormous load put on Mr. Goettsche’s third-party caretakers, who must always stay with him despite his electronic monitoring bracelet;
(iii) to provide his kids with a modicum of normalcy; and
(iv) to give Mr. Goettsche access to funds and assets so he can cover his family’s ongoing living expenses as well as the costs of hiring a counsel.
Due to COVID-19 delays and the size of the evidence against Goettsche, his trial has not yet been scheduled.
There has been a ton of discovery, and it is anticipated that there will be much more discovery in the future.
As long as Goettsche plans to argue his case, in my opinion, he poses a flight risk. Although I’m not advocating that Goettsche be denied the chance to present his defense in court, BitClub Network was a $722 million Ponzi scam. Not like a milk bar heist, either.
Three BitClub Network defendants, including Weeks, have entered guilty pleas. In March 2023, they are expected to get their punishment.
Russ Medlin, Goettsche’s accomplice, and the fourth co-defendant is imprisoned in Indonesia on suspicion of child sex offenses.
In all likelihood, Goettsche won’t win the case. BitClub Network was your normal Ponzi scheme with a crypto mining motif, so there was no misunderstanding there.
Whatever the length of the trial, Goettsche is expected to be found guilty and given a hefty jail term.
He continues to pose a flight risk as long as that is the anticipated result.
In practice, this would mean that Mr. Goettsche could stay put while his wife took care of the household chores and ran errands as needed without having to hire a different housekeeper.
It is not the court’s nor the DOJ’s concern that Goettsche’s family has been implicated in the consequences of his fraud.
Goettsche’s sought motions have been contested by Pretrial Services and the DOJ. Although neither party has submitted a response as of the time of publishing.
The 5th of October has been set aside for a hearing on Goettsche’s application.