Siblings face fraud charges for alleged 'Ormeus Coin' crypto scheme

John and Tina Barksdale were charged Tuesday for alleged securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracies to commit both by selling a cryptocurrency called “Ormeus Coin.” 

According to a release from the Department of Justice, John Barksdale misrepresented that Ormeus Coin secured a $250 million mining operation and accrued more than $5 million in revenue each month, despite the coin never approaching such value. 

“As alleged, John Barksdale perpetrated a scheme to sell the cryptocurrency Ormeus Coin to investors around the world through a web of lies, which he spread through in-person roadshows, social media and even a jumbotron in Times Square,” U.S. attorney Damian Williams said in a press release. 

The alleged crimes occurred starting in June 2017, with Ormeus Coin reaching its peak market capitalization of $52 million at around January 2018. The Barksdales allegedly defrauded investors for more than $124 million through Ormeus Coin, a release from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states. 

The Barksdales face up to a maximum sentence of 20 years for each charge of securities fraud, wire fraud, with a maximum of five years for conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

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MK Manoylov is a reporter for The Block covering NFTs, blockchain-based gaming and cybercrime. MK holds a graduate degree from New York University's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP).

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