Mastermind of $6 million cryptocurrency scheme to be sentenced
A New York man convicted of running a cryptocurrency scheme that defrauded investors of $6 million is scheduled for sentencing on Tuesday in Massachusetts federal court.
Randall Crater, 51, of East Hampton, New York, founded a purported cryptocurrency and virtual payment services company called My Big Coin supposedly headquartered in Las Vegas. Carter offered virtual payment services through a fraudulent digital currency, “My Big Coins,” which he fraudulently marketed to investors between 2014 and 2017, according to prosecutors from U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins’ Office.
Crater and associates falsely claimed Coins was a cryptocurrency backed by $300 million in gold, oil and other valuable assets, federal officials said. He also falsely told investors that My Big Coin was partnered with MasterCard and that the Coins could readily be exchanged for government-backed paper currency or other virtual currencies, officials said.
All of which was not true, prosecutors argued. Over the course of the scheme, officials said Crater misappropriated more than $6 million of investor funds for his own personal gain, including spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on antiques, artwork and jewelry.
Crater was convicted in July 2022.
In January 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced commodity fraud charges against Crater and his company. The CFTC also filed civil charges against the chief executive officer of My Big Coin, John Roche, and two of Crater’s associates, Mark Gillespie and Michael Kruger.
Crater’s conviction included four counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison for each, and three counts of money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison for each count.
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