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Crypto Personality Thomas John Sfraga Pleads Guilty to $1.3 Million Ponzi Scheme

Cryptocurrency personality Thomas John Sfraga has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting to deceiving more than a dozen victims into investing in fictitious ventures, including fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes.

“Sfraga convinced a victim to invest in a fictitious cryptocurrency ‘virtual wallet,’” the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) declared in a May 17 statement.

The agency elaborated that Sfraga has experience in podcasting and the crypto industry, including hosting crypto events in New York.

“He promised the victims returns on their investments as high as 60% in three months,” the DOJ added. However,

Sfraga was operating a Ponzi scheme, where returns paid to earlier investors came not from legitimate profits but from the investments of new participants.

“In reality, however, Sfraga converted the monies to his own benefit, to pay expenses, and to pay earlier victims and business associates,” the DOJ explained.

Several of Sfraga’s victims were reportedly friends and neighbors, whose trust he betrayed to “swindle over $1.3 million of their hard-earned savings.”

READ MORE: Binance Develops Antidote to Combat Growing Address Poisoning Scams

Such gains are not unusual in the crypto market — Bitcoin rose 65% over three months this year from Jan. 24 to April 24, according to CoinMarketCap data.

At the time of publication, Bitcoin is trading at $66,860. Several altcoins have seen much larger returns over the same period — Pepe and Dogwifhat (WIF) rose by 722% and 656%, respectively.

This case follows a series of crackdowns on cryptocurrency fraud.

On May 15, Cointelegraph reported that the DOJ charged brothers Anton Peraire-Bueno and James Pepaire-Bueno with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The brothers allegedly obtained $25 million in cryptocurrency in approximately 12 seconds using a scheme that undermined the integrity of the blockchain.

Just a month earlier, on April 4, the former head of legal and compliance for the multibillion-dollar OneCoin fraud scheme was sentenced to four years in jail after admitting she helped launder millions of dollars.

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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.

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