The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted a Nevada man for participating in a cryptocurrency scheme called CoinDeal. May 19th.
The Justice Department announced that Brian Lee, a Nevada resident, conspired with Coindeal leader Neil Chandran to defraud investors through Chandran’s firm.
Lee was the owner and director nominee of ViMarket, one of the companies that claimed to be developing cryptocurrencies related to VR and “metaverse” technology. Chandran promised investors “extremely high returns,” but Lee followed Chandran’s instructions by depositing investors’ money into ViMarket’s bank account.
The Justice Department said they spent millions of dollars worth of misappropriated funds on non-business expenses such as luxury cars and real estate.
Lee could face up to 110 years in prison on a variety of charges, including conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and involvement in financial transactions of criminally-derived property. He has not yet been convicted and is expected to appear in court soon.
The Justice Department separately announced an indictment against Mr. Chandran in June 2022, and Mr. Chandran was also arrested at the time. The agency also announced that another co-conspirator, Michael Glaspie, will plead guilty in February 2023 and will be sentenced in June.
In January 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicted eight additional parties in connection with the CoinDeal scheme.
CoinDeal stole approximately $45 million from a total of 10,000 victims.
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