A former investment banker and registered broker has been indicted in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, for allegedly defrauding numerous investors by promising them profits on fake cryptocurrency investments and embezzling the funds received to finance his lifestyle.
Documents with the court claim that the defendant, Rashawn Russell, abused the growing interest in crypto investments to mislead investors. Russell convinced a number of investors to reinvest their fiat savings into cryptocurrency, often promising significant or “guaranteed” returns. However, it is alleged that Russell misappropriated money from investors to finance his personal lifestyle.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, revealed the court’s intent to continue the case against the former banker:
“As alleged, Russell turned the demand for cryptocurrency investments into a scheme to defraud numerous investors in order to finance his lifestyle. This Office will continue to aggressively pursue fraudsters who perpetrate these schemes against investors in the digital asset markets.”
After convincing investors about the fake cryptocurrency investment scheme based on his credibility as a former investment banker and registered broker with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Russell allegedly used their money to gamble and pay off other investors.
According to information shared by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Russell fabricated documents to mislead unsuspecting investors about the status of their cryptocurrency investments. The forgery involved altering an image from a bank’s website to display fake balances and wire transfer confirmations.
If convicted, Russell could face up to 20 years in prison. The Justice Department also asked other investors to contact them if they suspect they are victims of the alleged crime.
Related: Bitcoin Overtakes Donald Trump, Guns In America: Google Trends
On April 6, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions issued a consumer protection alert against cryptocurrency exchange Eucoinotrade.
According to the report, Eucoinotrade facilitated an “advanced fee fraud” in which users were asked to pay to upgrade accounts and withdraw funds. While users had no problem depositing money, they had trouble trying to withdraw money.
This post Brooklyn Court Indicts Former Banker For Allegedly Defrauding Crypto Investors
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