A federal jury has convicted Randall Crater, the founder of My Big Coin, of wire fraud and money laundering for selling fraudulent virtual currency, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.
- Crater’s firm offered virtual payment services through a fraudulent digital currency known as “My Big Coins,” which were marketed to investors between 2014 and 2017, according to court documents and trial evidence.
- Crater and his associates falsely claimed the coins were a functioning cryptocurrency backed by $300 million in gold, oil and other assets. They also falsely told investors the company had a partnership with MasterCard (MA) and that the crypto could be easily exchanged for fiat currency or other virtual currencies.
- Over the course of the scheme, Crater misappropriated over $6 million of investor funds for his own purposes, including spending hundreds of thousands of dollar on antiques, artwork and jewelry, according to the Justice Department.
- In 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Crater and My Big Coin with commodity fraud and also filed civil charges against the company’s CEO and two of Crater’s associates.
- Crater was convicted of four counts of wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison for each count, and up to three counts of money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years for each count.
- Crater is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 27.
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