AUDREY STRAUSS, america Lawyer for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Cost of the New York Area Workplace of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), introduced right now the unsealing of a Criticism in Manhattan federal court docket charging JEREMY SPENCE, a/okay/a “Coin Alerts,” a cryptocurrency dealer who solicited funds for numerous cryptocurrency funds that he operated, with commodities fraud and wire fraud offenses. As alleged, SPENCE took cryptocurrency price over $5 million from greater than 170 particular person traders after making false representations in reference to these cryptocurrency funds. SPENCE was arrested this morning in Rhode Island and can be introduced later right now earlier than Justice of the Peace Decide Patricia A. Sullivan within the U.S. District Court docket for the District of Rhode Island.
Manhattan U.S. Lawyer Audrey Strauss stated: “Jeremy Spence, a/okay/a, ‘Coin Alerts,’ allegedly lured traders to his cryptocurrency funding rip-off by touting returns of as much as 148%. Spence’s investments not solely failed to achieve his audacious claims, they constantly misplaced cash, leaving a $5 million void in his shoppers’ crypto accounts. Spence’s alleged conduct ought to strongly sign would-be traders to completely educate themselves within the cryptocurrency ecosystem earlier than falling prey to funding scams promising large returns for small investments which might be certainly too good to be true.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Cost Sweeney stated: “As alleged, Jeremy Spence misrepresented the success of his funding platform with a purpose to entice individuals to ship cash his means. As a result of his buying and selling was lower than worthwhile and considerably much less profitable than he represented to traders, he used cash from new traders to repay others with a purpose to hold his plan transferring—a typical marker of a Ponzi scheme. Whether or not investing with money, shares, or digital forex, our recommendation to traders at all times stays the identical—train due diligence, and when one thing simply doesn’t appear proper, report suspicious exercise to the authorities.”
As alleged within the Criticism unsealed right now in Manhattan federal court docket:
From November 2017 by April 2019, SPENCE solicited traders in numerous cryptocurrency funding swimming pools that SPENCE had created and managed (the “Funds”). SPENCE solicited investments for a number of Funds, the most important and most energetic of which had been the Coin Alerts Bitmex Fund, a/okay/a the “CS Mex Fund,” the Coin Alerts Various Fund, a/okay/a the “CS Alt Fund,” and the Coin Alerts Lengthy Time period Fund. Buyers who wished to take part in a Fund would switch cryptocurrency, corresponding to Bitcoin and Ethereum, to SPENCE to ensure that SPENCE to take a position it.
SPENCE solicited these investments by false representations, together with that SPENCE’s crypto buying and selling had been extraordinarily worthwhile when, in actual fact, SPENCE’s buying and selling had been constantly unprofitable. For instance, on January 28, 2018, SPENCE posted a message in an internet chat group falsely claiming that his buying and selling of investor funds over the previous month had generated a return of greater than 148%. Because of this misrepresentation, traders transferred further funds to SPENCE. In actual fact, over that very same interval of roughly one month, SPENCE’s buying and selling resulted in internet losses within the accounts by which he traded investor funds.
To forestall redemptions by traders, and to proceed to boost cash from traders to fund his scheme, SPENCE generated fictitious account balances, which he made obtainable to traders on-line. As a substitute of precisely reporting the buying and selling losses SPENCE was incurring, the account balances falsely indicated to traders that they had been earning money by investing with SPENCE. To cover his buying and selling losses, SPENCE used new investor funds to pay again different traders in a Ponzi-like vogue. In whole, SPENCE distributed cryptocurrency price roughly $2 million to traders considerably from funds beforehand deposited by different traders.
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SPENCE, 24, of Bristol, Rhode Island, is charged with one rely of commodities fraud, which carries a most sentence of 10 years in jail, and one rely of wire fraud, which carries a most sentence of 20 years in jail. The utmost potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are supplied right here for informational functions solely, as any sentencing of the defendant can be decided by a choose.
Ms. Strauss praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and likewise thanked the Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee for its help.
This case is being dealt with by the Workplace’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Activity Power. Assistant U.S. Lawyer Christine Magdo is in control of the prosecution.
 Because the introductory phrase signifies, everything of the textual content of the Criticism, and the outline of the Criticism set forth herein, represent solely allegations, and each truth described needs to be handled as an allegation.