Crypto Fraudster Sent To Jail for Serving 3 Years Maximum
As per the Department of Justice of the US (DOJ), a man accused of defrauding crypto investors was brought before the trial.
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The trial of the accused was held at a District Court of the US and concluded the trial by announcing a final verdict.
District Court found that the accused named Chester Stojanovich (also known as ‘Chet’) was involved in defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme.
The Court thereafter announced that Chester is sent to jail for serving a maximum of three years.
Nature of Crime Committed by Chester
DOJ informed that Chester was directly involved in running and operating a Ponzi crypto mining scheme, however, there was no such scheme.
It is further apprised that Chester convinced a number of investors to pour funds into his so-called mining scheme.
Chester told investors that their funds would be invested for sponsoring miner hosting services. Similarly, he also promised the investors that they shall be provided by cryptocurrency miners at cheap rates.
According to DOJ, Chester’s plan was to get as much as funds by defrauding investors, loot the money and then run away.
Unaware of his plans, the investors thought they would own miners and start minting cryptocurrencies.
Similarly, they were made to believe that funds would be invested in mining companies which shall then be rendering services to miners.
However, nothing was true, and in fact, was a scheme of defrauding people and looting their hard-earned money, said DOJ.
Commencement of Trial
As was told by DOJ, the main accused namely ‘Chester’ was brought to trial in the second last month of 2022 i.e. November.
When the trial proceedings commenced, the accused pleaded guilty to charges of committing financial crimes including wire fraud.
DOJ informed that Chester launched his so-called mining scheme somewhere in 2019 and ran it for some time.
When it was known to investors that they were defrauded, the investors then went to lodge their complaints with the concerned authorities.
Upon coming to know that his fraud was busted, Chester wrapped up his scheme and ran off. However, he was arrested by the US authorities in April 2022.
From the launch of the Ponzi scheme till its end, Chester was able to convince more than a dozen investors into pouring funds. According to DOJ’s estimate, Chester single-handedly convinced investors to pay him over $2 Million.
Investors were told by Chester that state-of-the-art mining equipment/mining services shall be provided to them at their doorsteps.
Investors were further misguided that Chester-provided mining equipment would be capable of producing extraordinary hash power.
Chester also told investors that they would be able to mine leading cryptocurrencies faster and at a cheaper electricity cost. However, all was a lie and Chester plundered over $2 Million belonging to the investors.
Neither of them was provided with any mining equipment nor were any mining services offered to them by Chester.
Utilization of Misappropriated Funds
DOJ stated that the funds misappropriated by Chester were in fact utilized by Chester for meeting his personal expenses.
He booked air travel, and expensive rooms in luxury hotels threw wild parties and bought luxury cars with the looted funds.
It was on Thursday when the trial proceedings were taken up by District Judge Denise Cote. The Judge observed in his verdict that Chester defrauded investors and committed an illegal act of wire transfer.
The Court’s verdict against Chester included jail time of three years along with forfeiture of funds amounting to more than $2 Million. He is being further directed to pay an extra $2 Million as compensation to investors.
At the time of the announcement of the verdict, the majority of Chester’s victims were present in the Court. When the ruling was passed, the victims appreciated the Court and said that justice has been served.
According to DOJ, it is unlikely that the convicted would file an appeal against the Court’s verdict.