The United States DoJ [Department of Justice] has revealed that the head of digital assets escrow firm Volantis Market Making has pled guilty to commodities fraud worth over $3.25 Mln recently on 1st Oct.
49-year-old Jon Barry Thompson, Volantis executive, made a false impression to a form from which he solicited $3.25 Mln to form purportedly “no risk” Bitcoin [BTC] purchases via a 3rd firm within the months of June and July earlier in 2018.
Despite Thompson asserting he wouldn’t spare the money until after the third firm had delivered the BTC, Acting Manhattan United States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, added that:
“Thompson transferred the money to a 3rd party without first receiving the Bitcoin, and therefore the money was indeed never recovered.”
The DoJ added that Thompson falsely claimed that the transaction would be settled via an “atomic swap process,” and lied to the firm for several days on the status of their funds and crypto-assets – neither of which were returned to date.
Thompson pled guilty to one count of commodities fraud, that carries a max sentence of up to 10 years of imprisonment. Thompson will face sentencing on 7th January 2021.
Thomspon was indicted earlier in September last year on 4 counts of fraud concerning $7 Mln that Volantis illicitly swindled from two different users – along with the charge over which he has just pled guilty. Within the indictment, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge, William Sweeney Jr, added that Thompson intentionally used his crypto-native jargon to confuse & consequently exploiting his victims:
“Using phrases & terminology that the victim firms actually didn’t understand, he allegedly preyed on their ignorance of the emerging cryptocurrency.”
United States authorities have recently expanded global policing efforts targeting cryptocurrency fraud, taking action against separate scams situated within Russia & Malaysia last month.