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Indian American arrested for $10 million cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme

Ohio man falsely promised to generate lucrative returns but instead used new investors’ money to repay old investors

An Indian American resident of Ohio has been arrested on criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in a cryptocurrency investment fraud scheme that raised at least $10 million from investors.

Rathnakishore Giri, 27, of New Albany, allegedly misled investors by fraudulently promoting himself as an expert cryptocurrency trader, with a specialty in trading Bitcoin derivatives, according to a Justice Department press release.

Read: 3 Indians charged in $1.5 million cryptocurrency insider trading scheme (July 22, 2022)

As alleged in the indictment, Giri falsely promised investors that he would generate lucrative returns with no risk to their principal investment amount, which he guaranteed to return. In reality, Giri often allegedly used money provided by new investors to repay old investors – a hallmark of a Ponzi scheme.

In addition, Giri allegedly had a record of investment failures, including a long history of losing investors’ principal investments, and misled investors about reasons for delays when they sought to cash out their investments or otherwise obtain the return of their “guaranteed” principal.

Giri is charged by indictment with five counts of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count.

Read: Investment Manager Arrested for $10 Million Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme (November 18, 2022)

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors, the release said.

The FBI is investigating the case.

Justice Department also advised those who believe they are a victim in this case, to contact the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness Unit toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or by email at victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.

Read: Indian American indicted in cryptocurrency money laundering scheme (March 11, 2022)

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