January 28, 2021 | AtoZ Markets – According to a US Department of Justice press release, San Francisco resident Jerry Ji Guo was sentenced to six months in prison for $20 million cryptocurrency fraud.
The court also ordered Guo to pay nearly $4.4 million in damages after he pleaded guilty to ICO investor fraud.
Jerry Ji Guo sentenced for embezzling cryptocurrency worth $20 million
At the peak of ICO popularity in 2018, Guo introduced himself to clients as an ICO consultant, offering marketing and consulting services on behalf of cryptocurrency startups. However, instead of performing his duties, Guo embezzled customers' money and cryptocurrency. In November 2018, he was charged with a crime.
A San Francisco resident pleaded guilty to one count of electronic fraud in August 2019. He was charged with seven more counts, but they were dismissed. Guo could receive up to 20 years in prison if he was found guilty of all charges.
Returning Stolen Funds
Pursuant to Guo's final confiscation order, the US government can now return the stolen funds to victims. According to the Justice Department, the current value of the stolen cash and cryptocurrency is estimated at more than $20 million.
“This case shows that we can use criminal seizure to compensate victims of fraud, even if the fraud is related to cryptocurrencies,” said US Attorney David Anderson.
After being released from prison, Guo will be under the supervision of the authorities for three years. This week, U.S. law enforcement also accused Rhode Island-based cryptocurrency trader Jeremy Spence of defrauding investors for $5 million.
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