Serbian Faces Charge Of Using Crypto Scheme To Swindle US Investors - Justice Dept.

Serbian Faces Charge of Using Crypto Scheme to Swindle US Investors - Justice Dept.

NEW YORK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th February, 2021) A 45-year-old Serbian resident of New York, Kristijan Krstic, has been charged with hatching a bogus cryptocurrency scheme using two fraudulent online investment platforms to solicit some $7 million from unsuspecting Americans, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

"As alleged, Krstic convinced US investors to pour millions of dollars into fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes through misrepresentations and false statements, and then ran off with their money," Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Seth DuCharme said in the statement on Tuesday.

According to the charge, Krstic induced US-based investors to purchase securities in the form of investment contracts in two fraudulent digital-asset investment platforms, "Start Options" and "B2G," between 2017 and 2018.

The statement said that Krstic and others in his scheme represented to potential investors that a deposit in B2G "open[ed] a door to all the curtains inside Aladdin's cave.

Dollars buy B2G; B2G tokens can be exchanged back into dollars, or for Euros, or for other national fiat currencies. B2G holdings can be traded for original Bitcoin or other altcoins."

In reality, the money sent by investors in Start Options and B2G was never invested as promised, and instead funneled to a Philippines-based financial account and digital-currency wallet and to a US-based promoter of the fraud, the statement said.

"Subsequently, the US-based promoter transferred approximately $7 million in investor funds from B2G and Start Options to Krstic, and Krstic thereafter stopped responding to all communications and absconded with those investors' funds," the statement added.

If convicted, Kristic faces up to 20 years' imprisonment, according to the Justice Department.