The man behind a multi-million dollar crypto scam pleaded guilty to the fraud this week, according to the US Department of Justice.
Ohio man Michael Ackerman could face up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding investors in a crypto scam he orchestrated. The plan was too good to be true Q3 Trading Club, which promises a monthly return of 15%.
New York South District Attorney Audrey Strauss pleaded guilty on Sept. 8, saying Ackerman had admitted inflicting more than $ 30 million in damages to the victims.
“As he admitted today, Michael Ackerman raised millions of dollars in investments for his fake crypto system by falsely promoting monthly returns in excess of 15%.”
Strauss added that he had forged documents to convince investors that his fund had more than $ 315 million in balance. In fact, according to the DoJ, the fund has never had more than $ 5 million in balance.
It added that Ackerman stole $ 9 million from investor contributions to “fund a lavish lifestyle” that included real estate, jewelry, vehicles, travel and personal services.
The 52-year-old pleaded guilty to wire fraud and agreed to refund at least $ 30 million while losing $ 36 million in cash, real estate, and jewelry fraudulently committed. Ackerman will be sentenced on January 5, 2022.
He was first indicted by the Securities and Exchange Commission in February 2020 for violating securities laws. At the time it was reported that he was targeting doctors exclusively through a “” group of doctor fathers “on Facebook.
Related: Q3 Crypto Ponzi Victims File Class Action Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo
Ackerman, who served as an institutional broker for the New York Stock Exchange, acts as part of a trio that includes James Seijas, a former Wells Fargo financial advisor, and surgeon Quan Tran.
Fraud victims sued Wells Fargo in April 2020 for failing to investigate an employee’s activities.