Two new cases of crypto fraud are in the books.
Crypto Fraud Is Getting Too Big
The first involved two bad actors. One is Randall V. Rule, age 71, of Reno, Nevada. His partner in crime was Gregory C. Nysewander, age 64, of Irmo, South Carolina. Both have been charged with money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, and conspiracy to violate the Bank Secrecy Act. The pair sought to hide illicitly garnered funds through crypto portals.
The U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement:
The defendants and their co-conspirators made false representations and concealed material facts to avoid discovery of the fraudulent nature of deposits, wires, and transfers, such as providing instructions to co-conspirators and victims to label wire transfers as ‘loan repayments’ and ‘advertising.’
The second case of crypto fraud involves a single party. This one was an Ohio man named Rathnakishore Giri, who by contrast to the initial pair, is quite young at only 27 years of age. He has been charged with defrauding investors in a crypto scam that saw customers lose more than $10 million in total. According to the Justice Department (DOJ), Giri has a history of investment fraud, and this was likely just another scheme in his eyes.
It is alleged that Giri promised all his investors specific returns, though he had no means of guaranteeing anything. He also “fraudulently” promoted himself as a crypto expert, purporting that he knew all there was to know about digital currencies and that he could engage in successful trades across the board.
Court documents state:
As defendant Giri knew, he had a history of failing to fulfill such promises to investors. Among other things, defendant Giri repeatedly failed to repay investors’ principal investments, having taken no steps to protect such principal.
He was also able to lure people in by bragging about his own luxurious lifestyle and personal wealth. This caught many people by surprise and caused them to figure there was truth to his words, enticing them to jump aboard. It is believed he drove several luxury vehicles including a Tesla, two Lamborghinis, and an Audi R8.
The documents further claim:
Instead of using all investor funds for cryptocurrency investments as promised, defendant Giri diverted certain investor funds to other purposes such as payment of his own personal expenses or repayment of principal or interest on earlier investments in a manner consistent with a Ponzi scheme.
A Potentially Long Prison Sentence
Aside from the vehicles, Giri also wore watches that were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. He flew on private jets and rented luxury homes. He has been charged with five counts of wire fraud.
If convicted, he could spend the next 100 years in jail given that each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars.
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