Business

Dennis Wafula

Crypto scammer convicted to 86 months in prison

A scammer was sentenced to 86 months in prison by U.S. district judge Sandra J. Feuerstein for operating an illegal crypto scheme.

According to reports, Blake Kantor, a 44 year old, was found guilty of operating an illegal scheme to defraud Blue Banc and Blue Bit Analytics (BBB) investors, including those who invested in a cryptocurrency called “ATM Coin.”

In his ruling, the judge ordered Kantor to pay restitution of $806,405 distributed to the victims. Kantor was also ordered to pay a fine of $1.5 million and forfeiture of about $153,000 of stolen proceeds.

Kantor ran the scam using his company BBB, which was established in March 2014. The company claimed to offer binary options based on the prices of securities, currencies and other investment values at payout time. However, investors were not aware that the data provided for binary options was fraudulently altered using a computer software program.

Kantor managed to run the company for three years undetected, collecting approximately $1.5 million until 2017. During this time, his project had attracted more than 700 investors in BBB’s binary options.

Additionally, Kantor went ahead to convince his investors to invest in a cryptocurrency referred to as “ATM Coin” with their BBB investments. He told investors that the coin was worth $600,000, but its last known price was $2.60.

Kantor was first arraigned in court in November 2018 where he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He also pleaded guilty for obstructing government’s investigation. He admitted to deleting emails relating to the scam and directing his co-conspirator to alter the BBB customer lists.

While announcing the sentence, the prosecutor, Richard P. Donoghue, stated:

“Kantor has been held accountable for defrauding investors through his lies and deceit. This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously prosecute those who perpetrate financial frauds and obstruct investigations of their crimes.”

Cases of crypto related scams are on the rise with authorities working hard to curb them. Last month, authorities in New York arrested and convicted British citizen James Moore for wire fraud and conspiracy. Moore also covered up the identity of a known crypto scammer who is believed to have played a key role in the scheme. Moore’s scheme scooped an approximate of $7 million.

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