When it comes to scams, fraudsters apply different techniques and show amazing imagination, to lure funds from unaware investors. According to the Australian research agency, Scamwatch, the cryptocurrency trading scams are among the most popular fraud schemes, where bad actors succeed and have already caused over millions loses.
July 26, 2019 | AtoZ Markets - The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York has charged the head of a bitcoin escrow company Volantis Escrow Platform LLC with defrauding investors for $7 million.
About Jon Barry Thompson fraud in a brief
As per an official announcement of Department of Justice (DOJ), the prosecutors brought two counts each of commodity and wire fraud against Jon Barry Thompson, principal of Volatnis Escrow Platform LLC, a global escrow and trade facilitation platform that focuses on bitcoin escrow services.
According to the complaint, unsealed this Thursday, Thompson induced investors to engage in cryptocurrency transactions through Volantis Market Making, the company related to Volantis Escrow Platform LLC.
Thompson made misleading statements to his clients about investment risks and false representations of his custody and control of digital assets.
Thus, as per U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman’s statement, due to Thompson false representations, cryptocurrency investors lost all of the money they had entrusted with the Volantis Escrow Platform LLC principal.
As per FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney, Jon Barry Thompson believed that none of his victims would ask where their actual money went when they trusted him to invest in Bitcoin. According to prosecutors, the defendant by using phrases and terminology that the victim companies didn't understand, allegedly preyed on their ignorance of the emerging cryptocurrency.
The principal of Volatnis Escrow Platform LLC might stay in prison for the next 40 years
The prosecutors did not reveal the names of Thompson victims. However, the authority claimed, that last summer, at least two companies, Thompson allegedly defrauded, sent him over $7 million wires to fund the purchase of Bitcoin.
After taking company’s money and failing to provide any Bitcoin in return, Thompson lied for days about why the deal had not worked out and the location of both companies Bitcoin and money. Thompson never provided both companies with any Bitcoin, nor did he return their money.
Notable, that earlier, Forbes, published an article in which revealed a story about the deal between Volantis and Symphony, an Irish investment company that specializes in trading cryptocurrencies. According to the media, Volatniis negotiated a deal to transfer 6,600 bitcoin to Symphony.
As per the report, on July 24, 2018, Symphony transferred €3,600,000 to Volantis. Three days later, Thompson confirmed that the sale price of the first tranche of 500 bitcoins would be €3,303,500, and was authorized to begin the transaction. However, the transaction never closed and Symphony did not receive any bitcoin nor its money back.
Thompson was arrested in Pennsylvania this Thursday. According to the U.S. Department of Justice complaint, he was charged with two counts of commodities fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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