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Ex-Deutsche Bank investment banker Rashawn Russell pleaded guilty to crypto fraud this week.
On Tuesday, former Deutsche Bank investment banker Rashawn Russell pleaded guilty to misappropriating funds from investors after being charged in April.
In a press release, the US Department said Russell pleaded to participating in a scheme to defraud clients of the R3 Crypto Fund – a supposed crypto investment fund operated by Russell. Russell further pleaded guilty to his involvement in an identity-theft scheme “in which he fraudulently obtained credit cards and other access devices in the names of third parties.”
Up to 30 Years in Prison
Russell’s plea before US Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara could see him sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. In a plea agreement, the former investment banker must pay over $1.5 million in restitution.
US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, said:
“Russell leveraged investor interest in cryptocurrency markets to perpetrate a scheme to defraud clients who trusted him. The swift conviction in this case underscores this Office’s commitment to holding bad actors in the digital asset markets accountable.”
During the plea hearing, court filings and facts revealed Russell “engaged in a scheme to defraud investors into his R3 Crypto Fund by falsely promising that, among other things, he would use their funds to make cryptocurrency investments that would return large, and sometimes guaranteed, returns. In truth, much of the investors’ assets were misappropriated by Russell and used for his personal benefit, to gamble, and to repay earlier investors.”
In April, the DOJ said Russell deceived investors regarding the status of their investments and falsified documents he sent to investors.
According to April’s indictment against Russell, his scheme targeted “numerous individuals, including his friends, former college classmates, and former colleagues at [a] financial institution.”
Reuters reports Deutsche Bank declined to comment on ongoing legal proceedings but “regularly supports law enforcement and regulatory oversight efforts, including appropriately responding to and cooperating with authorized investigations and proceedings.”
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.