Ex-NYSE Broker Accused of Running $33M Crypto Scam Pleads Not Guilty

Michael Ackerman pleaded not guilty to one count of wire fraud for his involvement in the Q3 investment club that allegedly defrauded 150 investors.

Aug 12, 2020 at 1:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:42 a.m. UTC

A former New York Stock Exchange broker has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging involvement in a crypto trading scheme that defrauded over a hundred investors.

  • Michael Ackerman was the chief trading officer at Q3 – an investment club that told investors it used a proprietary algorithm that guaranteed returns trading cryptocurrencies.
  • Along with two other founders, Ackerman is accused of inducing around 150 investors, many of them physicians, to transfer a total of $33 million supposedly for trading crypto and making returns of up to 20% a month.
  • Evidence from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows Ackerman extracted a total of $7.5 million from Q3 between 2018 and 2019 – most of which was spent jewellery, cars, personal security, and an extensive house renovation.
  • Per evidence submitted by the Department of Homeland Security, Ackerman assured investors Q3 had more than $315 million in assets when in reality it had just half a million left.
  • The SEC, Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the attorney for the Southern District of New York filed charges against Ackerman in February.
  • He stands accused of one count of wire fraud and if found guilty he could be fined up to $250,000 and face up to 20 years in prison.
  • Ackerman reportedly spent 16 years as an institutional broker at the New York Stock Exchange.
  • He entered his not guilty plea at the U.S. Southern District Court of New York on August 4.

Read the not guilty plea in full below:


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