The leading trader of a $100 million global cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme has pleaded guilty and is facing up to five years in prison, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ). “The defendants allegedly misappropriated large sums of investor money to lease a Lamborghini, make purchases at Tiffany & Co., make payments on a second home, and more.”
EmpireX’s chief trader pleaded guilty
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday that Joshua David Nichols has pleaded guilty to his role as a “lead trader” in a global cryptocurrency investment fraud scheme that raked in nearly $100 million from investors.
The 28-year-old Florida man admitted that he and others made several false statements about EmpireX, an alleged cryptocurrency platform for investors, including promising “guaranteed” returns and claiming that Empires operated a trading bot that Used to use artificial and human intelligence to maximize profitability. for investors.
Instead, the Empires operated a Ponzi scheme by paying the earlier investors with money received from subsequent Empirex investors.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June accused EmpireX founders Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves, both Brazil, of violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, along with Nicolas . ,
Noting that Empirex never registered its investment program with the SEC, the securities regulator said:
The bot was fake, Nichols’ trading resulted in significant losses, and the defendants only transferred a small portion of the investors’ funds to Empires’ brokerage account.
“Instead, the defendants allegedly misappropriated large sums of investor money to lease a Lamborghini, make purchases at Tiffany & Co., make payments on a second home, and more,” the SEC described. .
The Justice Department in June charged all three men with “one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.” Pires and Goncalves were also accused of “conspiracy to commit international money laundering”. According to the indictment, the pair laundered investors’ funds through a foreign-based cryptocurrency exchange.
The Justice Department noted:
Nichols pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and faces a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Do you think Nichols should be jailed for five years for his role in the EmpiresX crypto Ponzi scheme? Let us know in the comments section below.
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