New York man charged with defrauding investors of more than $4.5 million in cryptocurrency scheme

A New York man was arrested Thursday on charges of scheming to defraud investors into investing more than $4.5 million in cryptocurrency assets.

A criminal complaint filed on July 9 charged Jae Woo Kim, 27, with one count of wire fraud, prosecutors U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent John L. Bennett said in the report.

Kim appeared before the U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim on the morning of July 16 to face the charges pressed against him as a result of an investigation by the FBI.

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The complaint and affidavit allege that Kim portrayed himself as a cryptocurrency trader to friends and acquaintances starting in October 2017. He then allegedly sought loans for business or cryptocurrency trading purposes, per the victims.

Meanwhile, he used cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) — to sponsor transactions as part of the alleged scam and transferred the assets he received in the form of cryptocurrency or U.S. dollars to gambling websites outside the country.

By May 2020, Kim had persuaded three investors to finance what he called "a fairly modest operation," according to the FBI. Further, he has been trying to solicit loans from new investors since February 2020. 

If found guilty, Kim could receive a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine penalty.

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