On Wednesday, the US Attorney’s Office declared that Randall Crater, the creator of My Big Coin virtual currency and payment service, has been sentenced to more than eight years in jail. The Boston federal court further said Crater would have to undergo three years of supervised release.
This follows his conviction in July of wire fraud and money laundering, which were brought against him in 2018 by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Crater’s company proposed payment services with a sham digital currency known as “My Big Coins,” sold to investors from 2014 to 2017, costing these investors over $6 million.
He and his associates asserted that the coins were a real cryptocurrency supported by $300 million in gold, oil, and other assets. They also deceived investors with the idea that the firm had joined with MasterCard and that My Big Coins could be exchanged for fiat money or other digital currencies.
Crater perceived the burgeoning crypto industry as an avenue to create the semblance of My Big Coin as a genuine service from which investors would gain a return. In her judgment, US Attorney Rachael Rollins stated that Crater’s falsehoods and fraudulence caused real anguish, hurt, and suffering in the lives of those “who invested in the cryptocurrency,” including their families.
The Rampaging Crypto Scam
Despite the ongoing bear market in 2022 and its effects on investors, the prevalence of scams related to crypto assets remains high. Though crypto is a relatively newer trend, criminals utilize age-old techniques to carry out their activities.
In February 2022, a cyberattack on the crypto bridge Wormhole led to a loss of $320 million. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission found out that since 2021 more than $1 billion has been taken by cryptocurrency scammers.
Last November, a collective complaint was lodged in a Florida federal court, claiming that Sam Bankman-Fried conceived a deceitful digital currency plot to exploit inexperienced investors in the US. Last month, four individuals were convicted of crypto-related fraud and money laundering at Preston Crown Court, leading to fifteen years of imprisonment.
Stephen William Boys, 58, Jordan Kane Robinson, 23, Kelly Caton, 44, and James Austin-Beddoes, 27, had illegally obtained and laundered tens of millions of pounds worth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from an Australian-based exchange.
Crater’s sentence is a harsh reminder of the need for stricter regulations in the cryptocurrency industry. While the market has grown significantly in recent years, it is still largely unregulated and open to manipulation by unscrupulous individuals.
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