Crypto Entrepreneur Charged with Defrauding Investors Out Of $150 Million Through Marketing Scheme

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Federal prosecutors have charged a German businessman with securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly scamming over 150 investors out of more than $150 million through a cryptocurrency investment scheme. Authorities arrested Horst Jicha, CEO and founder of USI Tech, after he entered the United States on vacation and announced the indictment in Brooklyn federal court on Friday. The prosecution claims that Jicha and two other USI Tech executives ran a multilevel marketing fraud that falsely promised high returns to lure people into investing with the company.

Aggressive Promotion of False Returns

Marketing Scheme

Prosecutors say that beginning in 2017, Jicha and the executives vigorously promoted USI Tech across social media, events and the company’s website. They actively spread that investor could gain up to 140% profits through the business’s crypto mining and trading operations. One executive told an audience in Pennsylvania that the top Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer had legitimized USI Tech’s legality. However, the prosecution alleges all these returns and legal approval claims were fabricated to entice unsuspecting customers into the scheme.

Obstructing Withdrawals and Transferring Funds

According to the indictment, in 2018, as regulators started scrutinizing USI Tech, Jicha supposedly shut down the company’s US functions to prevent investors from pulling out their money. Since then, around $150 million has been moved into accounts under Jicha’s control that were obtained through fraudulent representations. The charges state this was done intentionally to obstruct investigations and misappropriate the funds for personal gain rather than returning them to defrauded investors.

Charges Of Securities, Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

Jicha faces four felony charges, including conspiracies to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering. Prosecutors believe he misled people through false claims on the business to scam them out of sizable sums, which he then laundered by moving illegally obtained money between accounts. If convicted of all counts, Jicha could face lengthy prison time and fines, though he maintains his innocence through his attorneys.

The prosecution aims to prove that Jicha is responsible for significant losses suffered by over 150 individuals through a deceitful crypto investment scheme. While regulators work to protect consumers and root out wrongdoing, some still seek to exploit new technologies for personal enrichment through fraud. The case serves as a warning that authorities will pursue and prosecute those who scam people and violate securities laws no matter where the funds originate.

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Monique Morgan is a seasoned financial analyst and cryptocurrency expert, well-versed in blockchain technology. With a proven track record of success, she excels in identifying profitable opportunities within the dynamic crypto market. Through her articles, guides, and educational resources, Monique shares her valuable insights and knowledge, empowering traders to make informed decisions. Her keen eye for market patterns allows her to navigate the volatile crypto landscape with confidence, making her a sought-after contributor to the Ailtra platform. Stay tuned for Monique's expert advice and perspectives on the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies.
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