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Ohio fund manager denies $35M digital currency scam

An alleged fraudster has denied charges implicating him in a $35 million digital currency trading scam, according to reports.

Ohio fund manager Michael Ackerman, 51, pleaded not guilty on counts of money laundering and wire fraud before a district court in New York.

He is alleged to have been involved in a scheme to defraud more than 100 investors, including a number of doctors and senior medical professionals, by claiming his fund was generating returns of 15% a month from investment in digital currencies.

Ackerman is accused of presenting falsified documents showing a $315 million digital currency balance, despite having a balance of less than $500,000 in the fund at the time.

Ackerman is also accused of stealing from the fund, as well as staging fake real estate transactions in an attempt to cover concern from investors.

Alongside these criminal charges for the fraud, Ackerman is also facing legal action from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the civil court over the alleged scheme.

The SEC have accused Ackerman of falsely claiming to have created a trading algorithm to exploit digital currency volatility while managing risk, before making further false claims about his trading performance and assets.

According to the SEC, “the profits generated by the algorithm were minimal, at best”, with Ackerman using only $10 million of the total $33 million raised for digital currency investment.

The case follows on from Ackerman’s arrest in Ohio back in February, where he was released on a $20,000 unsecured bond. Ackerman is also facing legal action in Florida over the scheme.

The alleged fraud is the latest reminder to investors of the need to be cautious with claims about digital currency trading and speculation.

This case continues, with the next hearing date set for December 3.

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