World Sports Alliance chief pleads not guilty to crypto fraud

The president of the World Sports Alliance has pleaded “not guilty” to charges alleging involvement in the sale of a fake cryptocurrency, Law360 reported.

Asa Saint Clair is currently under house arrest in Arizona after being released from police custody on a $500,000 bond. Prosecutors were granted strict conditions around his release after he was identified as a flight risk, with Clair previously arrested at the airport on his way to Madagascar with a one-way flight ticket.

The New York resident is accused of defrauding at least three separate investors out of thousands of dollars after claiming the U.N.-affiliated World Sports Alliance would help developing countries access food, water, and facilities for sports.

The indictment alleged Saint Clair promised guaranteed returns to investors for buying the World Sports Alliance-backed IGOBIT cryptocurrency. However, despite raising money for its launch, the cryptocurrency failed to materialize.

Instead, Saint Clair is accused of using investors’ money to live a luxurious lifestyle, dining at the finest restaurants in Manhattan, and paying for flights and personal goods for himself and other employees of the World Sports Alliance.

Described by the U.S. government as a “sham affiliate of the United Nations,” U.S. special agent-in-charge Peter Fitzhugh said the scam had been running since 2017.

Saint Claire allegedly touted his company as promoting the values of sports and peace for a better world, yet defrauded all those who invested in his sham company. As alleged, Saint Clair used the money he earned through deceit to fund a lavish lifestyle for him and his family.

Saint Clair denied the allegations and said the Madagascar incident with authorities was a simple misunderstanding. According to his lawyers, Saint Clair only served a six-month term as president of the World Sports Alliance, and often traveled to Africa on a one-way ticket as part of the responsibilities of his job.

The case is scheduled to resume in March 2020, as prosecutors prepare to examine volumes of data seized from Saint Clair’s New York apartment.

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