Ohio resident Michael Ackerman may be facing up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a fraud back in 2017, that left investors short of $30m.
Ackerman ran a cryptocurrency fund promising investors a 15% monthly return when depositing USD in the Q3 Trading Club. However, the fund later turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.
Understandably, there was no shortage of investors at a time when bank interest was falling globally.
However, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has been able to put Ackerman on trial, leading to his confession on September 8. He now faces up to 20 years in prison.
Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said: “As he admitted today, Michael Ackerman raised millions of dollars in investments for his cryptocurrency scheme by falsely touting monthly returns of over 15 per cent.”
Ackerman originally mislead investors and tricked them into believing that the Q3 Trading Club had a $315m balance, but the fund never had a balance of more than $5m as the culprit kept withdrawing the funds, according to the DoJ.
The case against Ackerman was lodged at a time when the US has been increasing its efforts to curtail crypto fraud. The DoJ has been able to recover several cryptocurrency ransoms and continues to call for more transparency in the sector.