AP

Cryptocurrency fraud scheme lands man 8 years in prison

Feb 1, 2023, 8:06 AM | Updated: 8:21 am

BOSTON (AP) — The founder of a cryptocurrency and virtual payment services company who authorities say cheated dozens of investors out of about $7.5 million, which he used to buy a house, cars, jewelry, and other luxuries, has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

Randall Crater, 52, founded Las Vegas-based My Big Coin Pay Inc. in 2013, offering virtual payment services through a fraudulent digital currency, My Big Coin, from 2014 to 2017, the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston said in a statement on Tuesday.

Crater and associates he paid to promote the scheme through social media, email and text messages, said the coins were a fully functioning cryptocurrency backed by gold; that the company had a partnership with MasterCard; and that the currency could be exchanged for government-backed currency or other virtual currencies, none of which was true, prosecutors said.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleged that My Big Coin was a fraud in January 2018.

Crater’s 55 victims had to delay retirement, lost tuition money, and suffered other financial hardships, Joseph Bonavolonta, head of the FBI’s Boston office, said in a statement.

“Spreading outright lies, Randall Crater defrauded dozens of victims out of more than $7.5 million, convincing them their cryptocurrency investments were backed by gold when in reality their hard-earned money went to funding his lavish lifestyle,” he said.

A federal jury convicted Crater in July of wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions, and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

In addition to eight years and four months behind bars, Crater, of Lake Mary, Florida, was sentenced to three years of probation, ordered to forfeit more than $7.5 million, and pay restitution of an amount to be determined.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

5 hours ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

6 hours ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

2 days ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

2 days ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

2 days ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Cryptocurrency fraud scheme lands man 8 years in prison