'Coin Signals' trader pleads guilty to commodities fraud, faces up to 10 years

On November 30, the Department of Justice announced that Jeremy Spence pleaded guilty to commodities fraud in operating "cryptocurrency funds" that were, authorities say, Ponzi schemes that lost investors a total of $5 million.

Prosecutors charged Spence, who went by the moniker "Coin Signals," in January, with a maximum sentence of up to 30 years. Under the terms of the current plea deal, Spence faces up to 10 years.

According to the Justice Department, Spence solicited investors into funds promising rates of return of 148% and higher. When his strategies ended up losing money, Spence locked up investors' money while falsifying the balances that they saw on their own accounts. He also allegedly used new investments to pay out old investors.

The DOJ did not specify the date of Spence's sentencing, which will take place in the court of the Southern District of New York.