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Steve Chen Pleads Guilty To Crypto Scam Totalling In $147 Million

Steve Chen, a 62-year-old man, coming from the US, has recently pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of tax evasion. Chen has been operating a fraudulent crypto scheme that managed to garner him an impressive $147 million in misbegotten gains, and the 62-year-old managed to deceive 70,000 people in doing so.

Guilty For Wire Fraud And Tax Evasion

SEC Accuses Blockvest Founder of Presenting Falsified Documents 

The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday, with Steve Chen himself pleading guilty to the charges. As Chen explains in the plea agreement, he was the CEO and owner of one US Fine INvestment Arts or USFIA. USFIA, with the help of six other companies, managed to promote and solicit investments within it, starting back in July of 2013 and only stopping in September of 2015.

He managed to deceive thousands of investors, boasting that USFIA was a successful multi-level marketing scheme, though that should’ve been warning enough. Chen further claimed that his company managed to extract amber and other gemstones from supposed mines that they claimed they owned. These mines were claimed to be situated within Argentina, Mexico, the US, and the Dominican Republic. As one would imagine, none of these mines even existed.

 

Empty Promises of IPO

Each of the victims managed to invest anywhere from $1,000 to as much as $30,000 in the company. The total amount of money Chen managed to get through it all, counts to about $147 million.

Not to be outdone, Chen even went as far as to promise to have to company go public through the use of an Initial Public Offering, or IPO. As one would expect, Chen’s guilty plea incorporates a statement where he admits that he never had any intention to follow through on that promise.

Insult To Injury

The authorities even managed to rope him in for tax evasion. According to the plea, Chen managed to dodge federal taxation by reporting a gross income of about $138,015, back in 2014. In reality, Chen managed to earn $4,816,193 in the year of 2014. Thus, the man is liable to dock up an impressive $1,885,094 in back taxes. Luckily for him, there is no interest or penalties for this. Although, with an amount like that, it doesn’t need any.

The most impressive part of this matter is the fact that he’s making these schemes at the ripe age of 62. The typical age range for these kinds of cases is anything between 20 and 40, but so rarely above even 50.

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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.