The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges on Thursday against a crypto advisor who raised close to $4.3 million from four investors.
The SEC alleged that Gabriel Edelman fraudulently sold securities via his two businesses, Creative Advancement LLC and Edelman Blockchain Advisors LLC, telling clients that he would invest their funds in digital assets. Instead, he purportedly used most of the money for his personal expenses and only a small amount to pay investors early and "encourage their ever-larger investments" in a "Ponzi-like fashion," the complaint said.
Of the $4.9 million he raised, "at most" $447,300 was used for digital assets, while Edelman pocketed at least $1.5 million, the complaint said.
All of the investors were US residents "relatively unknowledgeable regarding digital assets" and three of them were elderly, the SEC said. Edelman himself has lived in Spain since 2020, but also lived in New York while committing the alleged securities fraud sometime between 2017 and 2021, according to the complaint.
Edelman had previously been named in a lawsuit brought by a New Jersey resident and two companies, including a financial services firm he previously worked for, according to the complaint filed in 2o21 with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
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