Ohio man ordered to pay more than $50 million over crypto scam

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  • 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 crypto investment scam.

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

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“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.


© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Sarah is a reporter at The Block covering policy, regulation and legal happenings. Before, Sarah was a reporter with CQ Legal writing about securities regulation, which is where she first started reporting on crypto. Sarah has also written for The Bond Buyer and American Banker, among other finance-related publications. She graduated from the University of Missouri and earned a degree in print and digital journalism. Sarah is based in Washington D.C., and is an avid coffee lover. You can follow her on Twitter @ForTheWynn.

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