Miami – A Miami-based man who swindled almost $1 million from investors by posing as a stockbroker and cryptocurrency businessman was sentenced to more than five years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida reported this Wednesday.
Ryan James Crawford, 30, hatched a fraudulent stock and cryptocurrency investment scheme that netted him nearly $1 million.
Crawford advertised himself as a cryptocurrency entrepreneur capable of making people rich with his new cryptocurrency, called “Cheetah”. “We are about to take over the world”said Crawford in a video published in 2021.
From June 2020 to March 2022, Crawford, also known as “Brody,” tricked victims into investing nearly $1 million into his scheme.
To lure his victims, Crawford “falsely” claimed to be a highly successful licensed stockbroker who had made tens of millions of dollars through similar cryptocurrencies and stock investments.
He falsely claimed to have access to enough money to pay potential investors on time and that he had developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) trading software that “never lost,” in addition to presenting the investment as low risk and high profit, among other things.
But Crawford, according to the Prosecutor’s Office statement, “did not return funds to victims or generate the exponential returns it promised.”
Rather, on some occasions, “He simply diverted investors’ funds and cryptocurrencies for his personal use, including to pay for luxury car rentals and gamble at the casino.”