Reginald Fowler, the former co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, was sentenced to 75 months in prison on Tuesday for running a $700 million cryptocurrency fraud scheme.
Fowler, 64, was convicted in April of bank fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors said he processed millions of dollars in unregulated transactions on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges, which he used to launder money and defraud investors.
Fowler also lied to the Alliance of American Football (AAF), a now-defunct professional football league, about his net worth in order to secure a $50 million investment. The AAF folded in April 2019 after just eight games.
“Fowler abused the trust of investors and financial institutions alike,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “He used cryptocurrency to carry out a sophisticated scheme to defraud people and institutions out of hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Fowler’s sentence is the latest in a series of high-profile cases involving cryptocurrency fraud. In March, BitMEX, a cryptocurrency exchange, agreed to pay $100 million to settle charges that it failed to prevent money laundering and other crimes. And in February, the founder of BitConnect, a cryptocurrency lending platform, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for running a $2.4 billion Ponzi scheme.
The cases against Fowler and others highlight the growing risks associated with cryptocurrency. As the market for digital assets continues to grow, regulators are scrambling to keep up with the latest trends and prevent fraud.