Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Conspiracy Tied to Forcount Crypto Ponzi

Juan Tacuri, 46, faces up to 20 years in prison for his crime.

AccessTimeIconJun 5, 2024 at 10:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 5, 2024 at 10:05 p.m. UTC

One of the top promoters in the Forcount crypto ponzi scheme – a Brazil-based scam that bilked Spanish-speaking investors around the world of a collective $8.4 million – has pleaded guilty to his role in the operation, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Juan Tacuri, 46, of Florida, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Tacuri also agreed to forfeit nearly $4 million back to his victims, as well as real estate purchased with victim funds as part of his plea deal.

Tacuri and other promoters promised investors that their investments in Forcount – a purported crypto mining and trading company – would double within six months. But, according to prosecutors, Forcount was never doing any mining or trading – Tacuri and his associates were simply using new investors’ money to pay back earlier investors and enrich themselves, spending lavishly on luxury goods and real estate.

Prosecutors say Tacuri traveled throughout the U.S. hosting "lavish expos" to find new investors, drawing them in with promises of "achieving financial freedom" and "boast[ing] about the amount of money he was earning, including by wearing designer clothing to such events."

In 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed civil charges against Tacuri and three other members of the scheme with violating the Securities Act – a parallel action to the criminal charges against Tacuri and his associates in New York.

Last year, two other Forcount promoters were arrested and charged with fraud for their role in the scheme.

Tacuri is set to be sentenced in New York on Sept. 24 by District Judge Analisa Torres, the same judge who is overseeing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) suit against crypto firm Ripple.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Cheyenne Ligon

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.


Read more about