Rashawn Russell, a former Deutsche Bank investment banker, is facing up to 20 years behind bars for allegedly committing crypto fraud.
Russell was arrested in New York on April 10th and is charged with conning investors into believing that their money would generate big returns with altcoins, and using the money for personal gain, to gamble, and to pay back other investors instead.
According to the Justice Department, Russell allegedly fabricated documents showing investors that he was successful at turning a profit and lied to investors about the status of their investments. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Former Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan employee Rashawn Russell was arrested in New York on April 10th for allegedly committing crypto fraud. The former investment banker and registered broker is facing up to 20 years behind bars for allegedly defrauding investors by promising returns on cryptocurrency investments that he never made.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, Russell is accused of creating a scheme to defraud multiple investors by falsely promising that their money would be used for cryptocurrency investments that would generate large, and sometimes “guaranteed”, returns. Instead, Russell allegedly used investors’ money for personal gain, to gamble, and to repay other investors.
The indictment further alleges that Russell fabricated documents showing investors that he was successful at turning a profit. Russell also lied to investors about the status of their investments, according to the indictment, and sent fabricated bank wire transfer confirmations to investors who sought to recoup their investment.
As alleged, Russell turned the demand for cryptocurrency investments into a scheme to defraud numerous investors in order to fund his lifestyle,” Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said. “This Office will continue to aggressively pursue fraudsters perpetrating these schemes against investors in the digital asset markets.”
Russell, who was a registered broker with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, reportedly guaranteed investors returns of up to 25%, telling them that a former client more than doubled their money in three months.
The indictment specifically describes the experiences of four investors who transferred between $90,000 and $295,000 to the R3 fund. Authorities believe that investments were regularly used to pay previous investors and to afford Russell’s gambling interests.
Russell now faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The charge in the indictment is an allegation, and Russell is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The government’s case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Drew Rolle from the Business and Securities Fraud Section of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and Assistant Chief Scott Armstrong and Trial Attorney Kyle Crawford from the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section.