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A $54m Crypto Fraud Lands Australian Fund Manager In Prison

Crypto frauds are not uncommon or unheard of. An Australian Crypto fund manager has been sentenced to over 7 years in prison for duping investors worth $54 million. 

Stefan He Qin, an Australian citizen, has been the founder of two popular cryptocurrency hedge funds. However, while promising lucrative returns to investors, he had been knitting a web of meticulously designed crypto fraud. Now the authorities in the US have sentenced Mr Qin to over 7 years in prison for cheating investors worth $54 million.

On Sept. 15, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) confirmed that U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni has issued orders to sentence Qin to 90 months in prison for his crypto fraud. He has been charged for duping investors of $54 million. A significant proportion of those funds came from US investors. 

The Ponzi scheme was executed through two different crypto hedge funds, namely Virgil Sigma and VQR. Qin had founded these two businesses back in 2017 and February 2020 respectively. While it was designed to be an arbitrage business, QIN used the funds for personal expenses and investments.  He also created fraud documents to support his crypto fraud and gain investor confidence. Qin went on to create falsified tax and accounting documents that showed his crypto funds were profitable.

Following investor complaints, he continued lying about the funds. However, after being nabbed by the authorities and following a trial he pleaded guilty to securities fraud. 

In the DoJ’s latest announcement, U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Qin’s brazen and wide-ranging scheme left his beleaguered investors in the lurch for over $54 million, and he has now been handed the appropriately lengthy sentence of over seven years in federal prison.”

The court has also ordered forfeit $54million and probably compensate investors after due investigation. Crypto frauds are not common, as such, it is recommended that investors conduct due diligence before investing in any shoddy funds.


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