Brooklyn Court Takes Action Against Former Banker Accused of Crypto Fraud
- Former investment banker and registered broker allegedly defrauded investors by promising profits on fake cryptocurrency investments and misappropriating funds to finance his lifestyle.
- Misused growing interest in crypto investments to mislead investors, promising significant or “guaranteed” returns.
- If convicted, the defendant could face a maximum of 20 years in prison. DOJ requests other investors to reach out if they suspect falling victim to the alleged crime.
A former investment banker and registered broker, Rashawn Russell, has been accused of defrauding numerous investors in a fake cryptocurrency investment scheme.
According to court documents, Russell misled investors by promising them significant or “guaranteed” returns, and convinced them to reinvest their fiat savings into cryptocurrencies. However, it is alleged that Russell used the investors’ money to fund his personal lifestyle, gamble, and repay other investors. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has revealed that Russell fabricated documents to mislead unsuspecting investors about the status of their crypto investments. The forgery involved changing an image of a bank’s website to show fake balances and bank wire transfer confirmations. If convicted, Russell could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The DOJ has requested that investors who suspect themselves of falling victim to the alleged crime to reach out to them. In addition, the court’s intent to pursue the case against the former banker has been revealed by Breon Peace, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. He stated, “Russell turned the demand for cryptocurrency investments into a scheme to defraud numerous investors to fund his lifestyle. This Office will continue to aggressively pursue fraudsters perpetrating these schemes against investors in the digital asset markets.”
In another incident, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions issued a consumer protection alert against the crypto exchange Eucoinotrade on April 6. The report states that the exchange facilitated an “advanced fee fraud” wherein users were asked to pay for upgrading accounts and withdrawing funds. While users had no problem depositing money, they encountered difficulties when trying to cash out.
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