Florida man pleads guilty to $55 million investment scam linked to cryptocurrency company owner charged in Nebraska
(Nebraska) — A Florida man pleaded guilty Friday to running a $55 million investment fraud scheme that allegedly involved a man who was indicted by a federal grand jury in Nebraska last summer.
Michael Glaspie, 72, of Palm City, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud after he tricked more than 10,000 people into investing in the company, according to a US Justice Department press release. referred to as CoinDeal, under the premise that this opportunity would benefit from an acquisition involving a company called ViRSE.
ViRSE was a company allegedly owned and operated by Neil Suresh Chandran 50 of Las Vegas, whose “metaverse” of companies developed their own cryptocurrency. Companies owned by Chandran included Free Vi Lab, Studio Vi Inc., ViDelivery Inc., ViMarket Inc. and Scalex USA Inc.
“In order to encourage investors to invest in CoinDeal, Glaspie falsely promised that if the earnings from CoinDeal did not materialize, he would return investors their money at 7% per annum within three years. In fact, Glaspie knew that he did not have the funds to make such payments,” the release reads.
Glaspie attributed his hoax to the claim that he had “an exclusive and lucrative contract with AT&T to distribute government-sponsored phones and that the app he developed is being distributed by the Better Business Bureau and will bring in over $400 million in revenue.” In fact, he had no such agreements.
According to a Justice Department release Friday, when the CoinDeal sale fell through, Glaspie “transferred investor funds to Chandran after falsely telling CoinDeal investors that he would not do so.”
Glaspie also falsely claimed that he never paid himself with funds from CoinDeal investors, when in fact he misappropriated almost $2.5 million of the victims’ investments for personal purposes, including cryptocurrency trading, paying salaries to his employees, and purchasing a life insurance policy. for a family member. .
But Chandran was arrested in Los Angeles after being indicted by a federal grand jury in Nebraska on June 14. Chandran faces three counts of wire fraud and two counts of involvement in money transactions with criminally obtained property for his role in the scheme. an earlier DOJ issue.
About 100 different assets, from bank accounts to real estate to luxury cars, including 39 Tesla vehicles, were subject to confiscation as proceeds of the fraud, according to the Justice Department.
A federal district court judge will sentence Glaspie on June 16 and could receive up to 20 years in prison.
Chandran faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and up to 10 years in prison for each count of illegal money transactions.
“This elaborate investment scam has defrauded over 10,000 victims of over $55 million,” David Sandberg, assistant director of the FBI’s Washington branch, said in Friday’s edition. “Investment fraud schemes of any type are unacceptable. The FBI will continue to do what we have been doing for over 100 years and investigate those who are trying to swindle unsuspecting Americans of their hard-earned money.”
The FBI’s field offices in Omaha assist other similar offices in Washington, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami with cases. Assistant Chief William E. Johnston, Trial Attorney Tian Huang of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Squad, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald J. Klein for the District of Nebraska are leading the prosecution. The US Attorney’s Office for Nebraska, Nevada, and the Central District of California also provided assistance in the case against Chandran.
HELP FOR VICTIMS
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of fraud related to the Chandran case is encouraged to visit the DOJ website to submit their impact statement and learn more about their rights.
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