A former Deutsche Bank investment banker is facing up to 20 years behind bars for allegedly committing crypto fraud.
Registered broker Rashawn Russell, 27, was arrested yesterday and will be arraigned today in a New York court, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
Russell is charged with conning a number of investors into believing that their money would generate big returns with altcoins—the name given to different digital assets that are not Bitcoin—the announcement said.
When they handed over their money, he reportedly used it for personal gain, to gamble and to pay back other investors, the Justice Department alleged.
It further claimed that Russell fabricated documents showing investors that he was successful at turning a profit.
“At times, he also claimed he had developed a successful strategy to trade ‘altcoin’ cryptocurrencies and that he had earned returns for investors in excess of 100% over previous three-month periods,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York indictment read.
“As alleged, Russell turned the demand for cryptocurrency investments into a scheme to defraud numerous investors in order to fund his lifestyle,” Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said. “This Office will continue to aggressively pursue fraudsters perpetrating these schemes against investors in the digital asset markets.”
Russell’s LinkedIn page shows that he worked at both JP Morgan and Moody’s, as well as Deutsche Bank.
“As alleged, Russell turned the demand for cryptocurrency investments into a scheme to defraud numerous investors in order to fund his lifestyle,” stated United States Attorney Peace. https://t.co/UAASdEB0WO
— US Attorney EDNY (@EDNYnews) April 11, 2023
He is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison if found guilty, the announcement added.