Rashawn Russell, a former investment banker at Deutsche Bank, has pleaded guilty to investment fraud related to a deceptive cryptocurrency trading scheme. In this fraudulent crypto investment fund known as the ‘R3 Crypto Fund’, Russell duped 29 investors out of $1.5 million between November 2020 and August 2022.
Russell manipulated his standing as an investment banker and licensed financial broker to assure investors of guaranteed, sizable returns from a series of crypto investments. However, he repeatedly lied about their investments and created several documents that portrayed false information about their returns, according to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
On investigation, the prosecution discovered that Russell had sent doctored images of his bank balance to investors. Furthermore, when an investor wanted to cash in on their crypto investment, Russell fabricated a money transfer confirmation instead of sending the money. The majority of the $1.5 million he acquired from his victims was not invested in crypto assets but was misused for his personal gain, for gambling, and to repay earlier investors involved in the scheme.
In addition to the investment fraud, Russell also pleaded guilty to a separate identity theft scheme where he fraudulently obtained credit cards and other devices using false information. He now faces up to 30 years in prison, and he is ordered to pay over $1.5 million in restitution.
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