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.


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Cheyenne Ligon

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

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