Crypto scammers used $45M from investors to buy luxury goods

Crypto scammers tricked investors out of $45M and used their money to buy luxury goods. They lured their "clients" with the promise of extravagant returns from the sale of the fictitious blockchain project.

Bitcoin token on a hook

Another day, another scam. According to yesterday's relea from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Neil Chandran and his cronies managed to raise over $45 million "from sales of unregistered securities to tens of thousands of investors worldwide." The investment scheme related to a fake blockchain project was named CoinDeal and most certainly wasn't a good deal.

Scammers claimed that CoinDeal would bring investors hefty returns, hinting that a group of prominent buyers is ready to pay trillions of dollars for the technology. From at least January 2019 to 2022, fraudsters spread false information that might've misled investors into believing in the extraordinary value of CoinDeal, the engagement of certain people in the purported sale of the project, and the use of proceeds from the investment. In fact, no sale ever occurred, and no "coins" were distributed to investors.

"We allege the defendants falsely claimed access to valuable blockchain technology and that the imminent sale of the technology would generate investment returns of more than 500,000 times for investors," said Daniel Gregus, Director of the SEC's Chicago Regional Office. "As alleged in our complaint, in reality this was all just an elaborate scheme where the defendants enriched themselves while defrauding tens of thousands of retail investors."

Misappropriated funds were used to cover the luxurious expenses of the CoinDeal team, including cars, real estate, and a boat. Chandran and/or his associates were charged with violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the Securities Act and Exchange Act and/or aiding and abetting certain violations committed by Chandran or Glaspie, another member of the crypto gang, going by the name of "Mike G" and known for recruiting investors.