Crypto Scammer Sentenced to 9 Years for Draining Almost $250 Million From Victims
The Valley Stream, New York resident – Eddy Alexandre – received a nine-year prison sentence for engaging in commodities fraud. He was found guilty of swindling $248 million from over 25,000 investors through his cryptocurrency trading platform called EminiFX.
The investigation determined that Alexandre used some of the funds to purchase luxurious items for himself, such as expensive cars.
The ‘Brazen’ Fraud
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Alexandre’s punishment on its official website, explaining his crime in detail.
He led the dubious crypto investment platform EminiFX between September 2021 and May 2022 and offered “guaranteed” high investment returns to clients via special technology. The feature, referred to as his “trade secret,” promised customers they would double their money within five months.
To make it seem legit, each week EminiFX’s website was falsely representing to users some returns on their investment. In fact, though, Alexandre invested only a small portion of the money entrusted to him and pocketed the rest. He even sustained millions of dollars in losses on the funds he distributed in crypto: a fact that he never revealed to the victims.
The DOJ claimed he misdirected at least $14,700,000 to his personal bank account and purchased a BMW car for himself for $155,000.
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York – Damian Williams – said Alexandre’s fraud was “brazen” and included “fabricating weekly investment returns of at least 5% out of thin air.”
“Most egregiously, Alexandre recruited many of his investors by exploiting his position of trust within his church and the Haitian community, even going so far as to enlist members of the church to help recruit EminiFX investors. As today’s sentence demonstrates, cryptocurrency executives who lie and cheat their customers will be held to account for their crimes,” he added.
Apart from the nine years in jail, Alexandre was slammed with three years of supervised release and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $248 million and restitution worth $213 million.
The Father-Son Duo That Face 20 Years in Prison
There are many examples of wrongdoers who have conned crypto investors over the past few years only to steal their money and fund a lavish lifestyle.
Such is the case of Brandon Austin and his father – Eugene “Hugh” Austin, who were arrested earlier this year over accusations that they “victimized both sophisticated and novice cryptocurrency investors alike out of millions.”
Similar to Alexandre, the family encouraged people to purchase cryptocurrencies through them by promising great returns. Instead, they embezzled every cent and employed the money for their benefit. According to the officials, they stayed in posh hotels, bought luxurious vehicles, and visited expensive restaurants with the $10 million stolen from investors.
The alleged criminals now face up to 20 years in prison on charges like money laundering and wire fraud. Brandon has already pleaded guilty, agreeing to forfeit $3.4 million and to pay $2 million in restitution. The magistrates are expected to announce his sentence on September 6.
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