A U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered an Ohio man to pay over $50 million for allegedly operating a multi-million dollar cryptocurrency investment scam.
Michael Ackerman, of Alliance, Ohio, will be banned from trading in any Commodity Futures Trading Commission markets and from registering with the agency. He was ordered to pay $27 million in restitution to the victims as well as $27 million in penalties, the CFTC said Wednesday in a statement.
The CFTC in 2020 alleged that Ackerman "operated a fraudulent scheme that solicited and misappropriated funds to purportedly trade digital commodity assets." More than 150 people and entities deposited at least $33 million with him.
False accounting statements
“However, less than $10 million was used to trade digital commodity assets and the remaining funds were misappropriated for personal use or to prolong the fraudulent trading scheme,” the CFTC said on Wednesday.
To get potential customers, Ackerman “knowingly and falsely represented” that he was trading digital commodity assets and earning monthly returns of about 15 percent, the agency said.
“However, Ackerman was not a successful trader, and to conceal the fraud he provided customers with false accounting statements, newsletters containing false trading returns, and fictitious screenshots of the amount of money under management,” the agency said.
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