Man gets over 7 years in prison in $50M cryptocurrency scam

An Australian man who pleaded responsible to securities fraud for dishonest traders in his cryptocurrency fund of over $50 million was sentenced to over seven years in jail Wednesday by a choose who questioned the sincerity of his apology.

U.S. District Decide Valerie E. Caproni in Manhattan imposed the 7 1/2-year sentence Wednesday on Stefan He Qin, 24, who advised her he was “completely heartbroken” as he learn letters from victims in regards to the ache he’d prompted traders, together with members of the family, mates and enterprise associates.

“Now I really feel ashamed to even look them within the eye and inform them I’m sorry, however I need to,” he advised the choose.

Authorities mentioned the fraud occurred from 2017 to 2020 as Qin operated the fund, referred to as Virgil Sigma.

Caproni famous that there was a attraction to Qin, however she additionally mentioned {that a} sufferer of his Ponzi scheme had warned her to not be taken in by his attraction. She mentioned that if his contrition have been honest, he’d by no means be in a courtroom once more.

“But when he is charming me the best way he charmed his victims; he is an actual hazard as a result of he thinks his wants are extra essential than everybody else’s,” she added.

She mentioned he deserved a measure of leniency, although, as a result of he had cooperated with authorities as they tried to determine the place cash from traders went.

U.S. Lawyer Audrey Strauss mentioned Qin promised his traders security, however “traders quickly found that his methods weren’t way more than a disguised means for him to embezzle and make unauthorized investments with shopper funds”

She mentioned in a launch that he doubled down on his scheme when he was confronted with redemption requests.

“Qin’s brazen and wide-ranging scheme left his beleaguered traders within the lurch for over $54 million, and he has now been handed the appropriately prolonged sentence of over seven years in federal jail,” she mentioned.

Qin pleaded responsible in February, admitting he carried out the fraud when he owned and managed two Manhattan-based cryptocurrency funding funds, Virgil Sigma and VQR.

Qin, who was ordered to forfeit $54.7 million, advised Caproni that he had realized by means of his crime that success, cash and fame weren’t what was essential in life.

“I do know now that the world shouldn’t be a online game,” he mentioned. “I deserve the punishment that I’ll obtain right now. I’ll spend the remainder of my life attempting to make up for the ache I’ve prompted. I’m so, so, so sorry.”

He was ordered to report back to jail Dec. 15.

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