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Florida Man Charged In Cryptocurrency Fraud


A federal grand jury has formally indicted a Florida man on charges that he ran a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme. He has since been charged with eight counts of wire fraud. According to the indictment, the defendant recruited about $800,000 in investments by providing false information to investors. Specifically, he claimed he was a highly successful stockbroker who made similar investments in crypto that netted him millions of dollars and of course, he was going to do the same thing for you. Further, he claimed he had developed an AI program that “never lost”.

No reputable investor would legally be allowed to make such a claim because if they did lose, they’d be responsible for the losses. That is how you could have known from the beginning that the fraud was a scam. Unfortunately, these scammers are very good at picking out victims and reading their responses, so they know when and who to press and who not to. Ultimately, once a guarantee has been made, and the guarantee is not fulfilled, the scammer can either string the victims along for a little longer, or completely disappear, depending on their immediate needs. If they disappear, the investors then report the matter to authorities who attempt to track down the perpetrator. In this case, they caught him, and he is now facing 8 counts of wire fraud each with a maximum sentence of 20 years.

How do you defend this man? 

Prosecutors have a strong case because they will allow the witnesses to do their work for them. The witnesses will recount their experience with the broker and the state’s case will be based on their stories. The defendant will have little room to claim the incidents didn’t happen and even less room to claim that the scheme was legitimate. Ultimately, you cannot make guarantees to investors because you’re liable for those guarantees. So, the individual who makes them will never have any intention of fulfilling that promise. They just want your money as quickly as possible, and they want you focused on dollar signs instead of rationality.

Nonetheless, the amount of money he stole was less than $1 million. That should limit the number of years he spends in prison. However, the number of victims is also taken into account. In this case, the number of victims will add years to his sentence.

In these cases, criminal defense attorneys will compare the crime to similar sentences handed out to other defendants and advocate for why that should be the baseline for determining the sentence. The prosecutors, meanwhile, will make the matter sound as bad as it can and argue for the longest possible sentence. The defense attorney’s job is to ensure that his client is sentenced in accord with precedent and not just because public sentiment is against crypto fraudsters at the moment.

So, even in a case where the prosecutor’s job seems relatively easy, there is still a lot of work for a defense attorney to do. The defendant is looking at 160 years when the sentence should be closer to 10. That’s a lot of margins for error.

Talk to a Tampa White-Collar and Fraud Defense Lawyer Today 

The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of Florida residents charged with white-collar federal crimes and related fraud charges. Call our Tampa criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.



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