The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged a Nevada man for his participation in a cryptocurrency scheme called CoinDeal on May 19.
The DOJ said that Nevada resident Bryan Lee conspired with CoinDeal leader Neil Chandran to defraud investors through Chandran’s companies.
Lee was the nominee owner and director of one of those companies, ViMarket, which claimed to be developing VR and “metaverse” technologies and an associated cryptocurrency. While Chandran promised “extremely high returns” to investors, Lee followed Chandran’s instructions and put investor funds into ViMarket’s bank accounts.
Both individuals spent millions of dollars worth of misappropriated funds on non-business expenses, including luxury cars and property, the DOJ said.
Lee faces up to 110 years in prison on various counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and engaging in monetary transactions on criminally derived property. He has not yet been found guilty and will make his first appearance in court immediately.
The DOJ separately announced charges against Chandran in June 2022, who was also arrested at that time. The agency also said that another conspirator, Michael Glaspie, plead guilty in February 2023 and will be sentenced in June.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) additionally charged eight parties in connection to the CoinDeal scheme in January 2023.
CoinDeal stole about $45 million from 10,000 victims in total.
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