A 57-year-old Las Vegas resident, Bryan Lee, was charged on May 19, 2023, with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a $45 million cryptocurrency scam.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Lee conspired with the main culprit behind the scam, identified as 44-year-old Ukrainian national Dmitrii Dudchenko, to defraud investors by falsely claiming that CoinDeal was a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange.
Dudchenko, who is currently at large, allegedly created CoinDeal in 2017 and used it to lure investors with promises of high returns. However, the exchange was actually a Ponzi scheme, and Dudchenko used investors’ money to pay off earlier investors and fund his lavish lifestyle.
Lee, who was employed by CoinDeal as a marketing consultant, allegedly helped Dudchenko to promote the exchange and recruit new investors. He also allegedly helped Dudchenko to launder the proceeds of the scam by transferring the money to offshore bank accounts.
If convicted, Lee faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and money laundering.
This case is a reminder of the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments. Investors should always be wary of any investment that promises high returns with little or no risk. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.