A cryptocurrency fund manager has been charged in a U.S. federal court. He allegedly took over $5 million from investors interested in investing in his crypto funds, promising them high returns. In reality, he was running a Ponzi scheme and is now facing up to 30 years in prison.
Crypto Fund Manager Arrested for Running a Ponzi Scheme
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday that Jeremy Spence has been arrested and charged in Manhattan federal court in a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. The 24-year-old from Bristol, Rhode Island, is also known as “Coin Signals.”
Spence is “a cryptocurrency trader who solicited funds for various cryptocurrency funds that he operated, with commodities fraud and wire fraud offenses,” the DOJ described, adding:
Spence took cryptocurrency worth over $5 million from more than 170 individual investors after making false representations in connection with these cryptocurrency funds.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss explained that the defendant “allegedly lured investors to his cryptocurrency investment scam by touting returns of up to 148%.” However, his investment pools consistently lost money.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney further detailed that Spence allegedly “used money from new investors to pay off others in order to keep his plan moving — a typical marker of a Ponzi scheme.”
According to the Justice Department, from November 2017 through April 2019, Spence solicited investors for several cryptocurrency investment funds that he had created and managed. Investors “would transfer cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin and ethereum,” to him to invest in the funds for them. The DOJ elaborated:
The largest and most active of which were the Coin Signals Bitmex Fund, a/k/a the ‘CS Mex Fund,’ the Coin Signals Alternative Fund, a/k/a the ‘CS Alt Fund,’ and the Coin Signals Long Term Fund.
Spence is charged with one count of commodities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has also filed a federal civil enforcement action against Spence, charging him with fraud for operating the Ponzi scheme.
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