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Following his guilty plea, Michael Ackerman faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of fraud.
According to the US Department of Justice, the individual behind a multi-million dollar cryptocurrency scam pleaded guilty to fraud this week.
Following his guilty plea for scamming investors in a cryptocurrency scheme he perpetrated in 2017, Ohio man Michael Ackerman could face up to 20 years in prison. Hundreds of investors were enticed by the too-good-to-be-true hoax, which promised 15 percent monthly returns if they invested USD into a crypto fund called the Q3 Trading Club.
U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announced the guilty plea on Sept. 8 stating that Ackerman admitted to causing losses of more than $30 million from victims.
“As he admitted today, Michael Ackerman raised millions of dollars in investments for his fake cryptocurrency scheme by falsely touting monthly returns of over 15 percent.”
Strauss added that he falsified documents to convince investors into believing his fund had a balance of more than $315 million. In reality, the fund never had a balance over $5 million according to the DoJ.
It added that Ackerman stole $9 million from investor contributions to “bankroll a lavish lifestyle” that included real estate, jewelry, vehicles, travel, and personal security services.
The 52-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and agreed to make recompense of at least $30 million while forfeiting $36 million in cash, real estate, and jewelry he fraudulently acquired. Ackerman is due to be sentenced on January 5, 2022.
In February 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with breaking securities laws. It was stated at the time that he specifically targeted physicians through a private “Physicians Dads Group” on Facebook.
Ackerman, a New York Stock Exchange institutional broker, was part of a group that also included James Seijas, a former Wells Fargo financial counsellor, and physician Quan Tran.
Victims of the scheme sued Wells Fargo in April 2020 for failing to investigate an employee’s activity.