The intricate fraud, known as the CoinDeal scam, allegedly deceived more than 10,000 investors by luring them with promises of astronomical returns totaling $1 trillion.
Authorities today indicted a Las Vegas man on charges related to the CoinDeal crypto fraud scheme. The US Department of Justice alleged Friday that Bryan Lee, 57, worked with others to defraud more than 10,000 investors of $45 million.
Researchers say CoinDeal was a Blockchain investment scheme involving a new cryptocurrency and the metaverse. He promised investors “extremely high” returns, according to the Justice Department, because wealthy investors were willing to get involved.
The Deceptive CoinDeal Scheme
The indictment against Bryan Lee sheds light on his collaboration with three other individuals to orchestrate the CoinDeal investment fraud. Under the guise of developing virtual reality products within a legitimate family of companies, Lee and his cohorts lured investors with the prospect that their crypto token was tied to a fictional metaverse project.
They further amplified their scheme by falsely claiming they were associated with prominent billionaires, possibly alluding to the likes of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, renowned pioneers in the tech industry.
As part of the ruse, Lee and his henchmen, Neil Chandran and Michael Glaspie, emphasized the existence of a potential consortium of wealthy buyers interested in acquiring his Metaverse company. Such farce allowed them to raise substantial sums from unsuspecting investors under the guise of financing operating expenses until the lucrative sale materialized.
However, the reality behind the scenes painted a completely different picture. Prosecutors reveal the alleged scammers indulged in lavish personal spending, splurging on luxury cars and real estate, instead of pursuing the promised metaverse development.
The charges against Lee are the following: one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, and three counts of involvement in money transactions on property derived from criminal activity.
Lee will appear in federal court today and faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy, and up to 10 years in prison for each count of involvement in illegal money transactions, the Justice Department added. . —a total of 100 years behind bars.
Unraveling the Scam and Legal Proceedings
Although Lee’s name was not listed in the initial Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint filed in January, he now faces indictment along with his accomplices. The indictment highlights Lee’s collaboration with Neil Chandran, the individual claiming ownership of the conglomerate orchestrating the fraudulent scheme.
The indictment also mentions Michael Glaspie, a Florida resident who was instrumental in raising funds from investors. Authorities have also charged an anonymous co-conspirator, “Individual-1,” who allegedly collected and laundered money for Chandran, possibly matching the description of Garry Davidson, a Nevada man named in the SEC complaint.
The charges against Lee, Chandran, Glaspie, and others involved in the CoinDeal investment scheme revolve around the unregistered offering and selling of securities. The SEC’s complaint further exposes Chandran’s record as a “repeat securities law violator and convicted felon,” noting that the fraud primarily targeted “less sophisticated investors.”
Despite the recent news, the crypto market has maintained its composure. In the last 24 hours, the global crypto market has seen a gain of almost 1%, with its value sitting firmly above $1 trillion.
By Audy Castaneda