The US Department of Justice announced that on October 1, the director of crypto asset guarantee company Volantis Market Making pleaded guilty to over $ 3.25 million in merchandise fraud.
Volantis CEO John Barry Thompson, 49, filed false statements with the company, which requested $ 3.25 million for allegedly “risk-free” purchases of bitcoin (BTC) through a third company in June and July 2018.
Although Thompson confirmed that he would not give the money until the company donated the third BTC, American lawyer from Manhattan, Audrey Strauss, found that:
“Thompson sent money to a third party without first receiving Bitcoin and the money was never returned.”
The Justice Department noted that Thompson falsely claimed that the deal would be settled through a “nuclear exchange” and lied to the company for several days about the state of funds and cryptocurrencies – none of which were returned.
Thompson pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Thompson will be sentenced on January 7, 2021.
Thomspon was indicted in September 2019 in connection with four cases of $ 7 million fraud that Volantis allegedly stole from two different agents, including the one he only pleaded guilty to. In the indictment, William Sweeney Jr., assistant director of the FBI, argued that Thompson deliberately used coded local terms to confuse the victim and thus exploit them:
“Using terms that the victim companies did not understand, he allegedly took advantage of their ignorance of the new cryptocurrency.”
The US government recently expanded international police efforts to combat cryptocurrency fraud and took action against selected types of scams detected in Russia and Malaysia last month.