62-Year-Old Man Scammed 70,000 Investors to the Tune of $147 Million
A 62-year-old man from the United States pleaded guilty to deceiving more than 70,000 people who invested in his fraudulent crypto schemes. He managed to get more than $147 million from his victims.
The Department of Justice announced that Steve Chen agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit fraudulent activities, as well as tax evasion.
Chen admitted to being the owner and CEO of US Fine Investment Arts (USFIA) and six other companies that attracted investments from July 2013 to September 2015.
Chen said that USFIA is a successful multi-level marketing company that also produces amber and precious stones in the mines of the United States, Dominican Republic, Argentina and Mexico. Thousands of customers who invested from $1,000 to $30,000 for promising profits from amber and gemstones mines that didn’t actually exist ended up with worthless digital coins purportedly backed by the gems.
Chen even promised that the company will conduct an IPO and become public. However, in his statement, he admitted that he really had no such plans.
The U.S. authorities also charged him with tax evasion, since in the 2014 declarations he presented only gross income of $138,015, although he actually earned $4,816,193.
Commenting on the case, the FBI representative noted that Chen seduced investors around the world, creating before them a mirage of fashionable cryptocurrency opportunities and dynamic marketing tactics, as well as due to false promises of imminent wealth.
Author: Marko Vidrih
Featured image credit: Pixabay