U.S. Government Calls for Orderly Indictment of Pennsylvania Bitcoin Scammer

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The United States government is planning to take a systemic approach to the case between the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and alleged Bitcoin scammer Jon Barry Thompson, as concerns of interference with a parallel case has caused it to seek intervention.

Leveling Charges One at a Time

According to a recent report from Finance magnates, the government filed a set of documents with the New York Southern District Court, seeking to intervene in the case. The government also wants a stay of civil proceedings against Thompson until a resolution is brought to the United States v. Jon Barry Thompson, 19 Cr. 698, a separate case that involves the alleged scammer. 

“A complete stay would prejudice no party to this civil action; would prevent the circumvention of important statutory limitations on criminal discovery and avoid asymmetrical discovery, and would preserve the Court’s resources because many of the issues presented by the civil action will be resolved in the Criminal Case,” the filing reportedly read. 

The first of the cases was brought up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 25, when the investigative authority accused the Pennsylvania businessman of stealing $7 million from prospective investors by setting up a fake escrow service. 

Per the indictment, Thompson, who owned two crypto businesses that were collectively known as Volantis Market Maker LLC., had promised investors that he would make low-risk crypto investments, adding that Volantis would act as a custodian for both sides of the transaction. However, he never had the intention to make use of the escrow service at all. 

“Thompson allegedly thought no one would ask where their actual money went when they trusted him to invest in Bitcoin. Using phrases and terminology that the victim companies didn’t understand, he allegedly preyed on their ignorance of the emerging cryptocurrency,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

One Crime, Two Indictments 

Investigators added that he defrauded two companies in mid-2018; Symphony, an investment firm based out of the Republic of Ireland (where he stole $4million), and an unnamed firm, where he stole over $4 million.

The CTFC charged him for the same thing in September, accusing Thompson of “knowingly or recklessly making false representations to customers in connection with the purported purchase of Bitcoin worth over $7 million.” The agency charged him with two counts each of commodities fraud and wire fraud, claiming that Volantis had misrepresented itself to prospective investors and swindling them outrightly. 

According to the commodities and wire fraud laws in the state of Pennsylvania, the businessman faces up to 60 years behind bars if he is found guilty on all four counts. Now, it would seem that the government has gotten some vested interest in seeing this man behind bars, as it is personally requesting that the CTFC give way for the first case to be tried and completed before delivering the nail in the coffin.

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About Jimmy Aki

Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.

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