The crypto industry is rife with scams, just like most other segments of the finance industry. Most of these scams follow a set, underlying pattern of false promises and excessive expenditure, with the only break in uniformity being the underlying background and the victims involved.
Roping in MLB Players
In an example of this, the US Department of Justice, or DoJ, has recently arrested two men. These men are the alleged masterminds to a crypto scam that’s been in operation since June of 2018. According to the reports, the two of them managed to defraud $7.5 million by way of 90 investors. The break in monotony is that some of these investors were MLB (Major League Baseball) stars.
The DoJ recently arrested two men, John Micheal Carusso and Zachary Salter. Caruso comes from Scottsdale, Arizona, and is aged 28, while Salter comes from Paradise Valley, aged 27. They were arrested on the 20th of January, and both were charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Cookie Cutter Techniques
Caruso founded Zima Digital assets back in July of 2018. The firm claims to offer investments in both crypto and blockchain technologies. Through the prolific use of social media, Caruso managed to give off airs of a crypto investment expert, even if his self-appointed moniker was the pain-inducing “Kryp+0 K!ng”. Whenever someone starts writing in the so-called “L33T” language, one must be doubly cautious, triply so if he starts declaring himself the “Micheal Jordan of algorithmic cryptocurrency trading”.
Caruso’s personal history runs in tandem with what you would expect from a scammer. He claimed that he has been investing in cryptocurrencies since 2012, but conveniently left out the entirety of his criminal record. He was arrested in California for the possession of a false ID, arrested in Arizona for theft, and arrested in Florida for extortion. The last stint in prison ended back in late 2017, having served his time in Florida.
Salter has a far more amusing backstory. He was an aspiring R&B singer before he was embroiled in this scam.
As the DoJ claims, the crooks misled investors in thinking the company had started back in 2012, even if it was founded in 2018. Since the scam began, $7.5 million in funding was gained through 90 investors. Following the format of a Ponzi scheme, the company managed to pay back $1.9 million of that funding in order to encourage further investments.