Operator of Ponzi scheme-turned-crypto scam sentenced to prison after trial in US

Jose Angel Aman was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison on Wednesday or his involvement in a Ponzi scheme-turned-crypto scam.

Aman and his partners allegedly promised investors that they would purchase rough-colored diamonds that could then be sold at a profit — assuring, in that sense, that their professed $25 million diamond stash was a high-return, no-risk venture. A release from the Department of Justice outlined the scheme and the details of Aman's sentencing.

The investor’s funds were not used for their intended purposes and Aman lied about the high-value diamond inventory, prosecutors said. To hide the scam, Aman allegedly paid interest to existing investors with money from new victims.

The cryptocurrency element of the case came in the form of Argyle Coin LLC, a supposed cryptocurrency business backed by diamonds. Prosecutors alleged in court that Argyle Coin was intended to prop up the Ponzi scheme and to prevent its eventual collapse.

Aman mostly used the Argyle investor funds to support interest payments from earlier investors and to support his opulent lifestyle rather than developing a promised cryptocurrency token. Aman and his partners collected over $25 million from hundreds of investors, according to the DOJ report.