Two Florida men settle CFTC charges over multi-million dollar bitcoin fraud

Quick Take

  • The CFTC accused one of the men for using his position as an attorney to trick investors.
  • Both agreed to settle with the CFTC and pay just over $5 million in restitution. 

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged two Florida men for conducting a multi-million dollar bitcoin fraud and accused one of using his position as an attorney to trick investors. 

Randy Craig Levine and Philip Reichenthal, an attorney, “induced” investors to send the lawyer $5.3 million to buy bitcoin from Levine. Reichenthal then used his title to “pose as an escrow agent” for the transactions, and investors were told that the lawyer would hold their funds in trust accounts until the investors received their bitcoin, the CFTC said Thursday in a statement. 

Reichenthal then transferred the funds to Levine, and investors didn’t receive bitcoin, the CFTC said.

“The conduct in this case is particularly reprehensible because one of the fraudsters was an attorney who should have known better, but instead took advantage of his title,” said Ian McGinley, the CFTC’s enforcement director. 

Levine and Reichenthal agreed to settle with the CFTC and pay just over $5 million in restitution. They both also faced criminal charges and pleaded guilty last year in the Southern District of New York. 

Crypto fraud

Crypto currency related fraud has become “all too common,” CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson said in a statement on Thursday. 

“Fraudsters often take advantage of individual retail customers’ fear of missing out on and interest in access to novel asset classes to perpetrate their scams,” Johnson said. 


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