Australian Pleads Guilty To US-Based Crypto Fund Scam Of $90 Million

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One citizen from Australia has recently pleaded guilty of cheating US-based investors through a cryptocurrency fund based in the US, costing these investors more than $90 million in the process.

Australian Perpetrator Failing In The US

The perpetrator in question, 24-year-old Stefan He Qin, had plead guilty to one count of Securities Fraud. This charge was laid against him within the Federal Court of Manhattan on the 4th of February, 2021.

US attorney Audrey Strauss made a statement about the matter at large within the Office of the US Attorney for the New York Southern District Court. According to the office, Qin had been committing this fraud since 2017, going on until 2020. In particular, he had operated a crypto fund by the name of Virgil Sigma.

Qin’s Time Has Come

Audrey stated that Qin was responsible for draining almost the entirety of this fund’s assets, which amounts to $90 million in total, and stealing the money of the investors in the process. Attorney Audrey highlighted how he had spent these funds on various speculative personal investments as well as indulgences, then lying to the fund’s investors regarding what he had done with their funds.

From there, Audrey highlighted that Qin had even tried to steal more money from another crypto fund he controlled, which went by the name of VQR Multistrategy Fund. Qin’s genius strategy was to steal from the one fund in order to meet the redemption demands of the Virgil Sigma investors.

Qin’s big problem was that these defrauded investors were US citizens for the most part. As a result of this, Qin could face as much as 20 years in prison thanks to that little detail. His sentencing is due on the 20th of May, 2021.

The Usual Motivations

Peter Fitzhugh stands as the Homeland Security Investigations special agent in charge of this situation. Fitzhugh stated that these two crypto investment funds, multi-million in value and based in New York, were discovered to really just be slush funds for Qin to support his extravagant lifestyle. He added that this plan was orchestrated by Qin for many years on end, with Qin himself providing numerous false promises and misrepresentations to draw in investors.

As is the case, Virgil Sigma claimed to have employed a fool-proof strategy to earn profits, making use of arbitrage opportunities within the crypto markets. It was claimed that it leveraged a trading algorithm in order to leverage the price difference of crypto assets among various exchanges.

Remember, all trading carries risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
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A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.