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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Can You Go to Prison for Running a Crypto Investment Scheme in Florida?

Can You Go to Prison for Running a Crypto Investment Scheme in Florida?


There is nothing inherently illegal about running an investment scheme based around cryptocurrency. However, digital currencies have become highly controversial within the past few years – perhaps making such a scheme more likely to attract attention from the authorities. In effect, crypto investors must follow the same rules as “normal” investors, and they run a very real risk of encountering criminal charges after even a minor wrong move.

Miami Crypto Investor Sentenced to 5.5 Years in Prison 

On October 18th of 2023, the Justice Department announced that a crypto investor had been sentenced to 5.5 years in prison for running a fraud. The 30-year-old individual was also known simply as “Brody” in the crypto world, and he used various techniques to attract investors to his scheme – eventually raking in almost $1 million. These techniques involved a number of untrue statements, such as:

  • The claim that he had a history of success as a stockbroker
  • The claim that he was a licensed stockbroker
  • The claim that he had made over $10 million from past investments
  • The claim that he had enough money to repay investors
  • The claim that he had developed an AI investing tool that guaranteed returns on investments
  • The claim that his scheme was “high reward, low risk”

Highlighting these claims is important, because they eventually led to the defendant’s criminal charges and subsequent incarceration. It is the fact that these statements were demonstrably false that led to the fraud charges. If he had not made these somewhat outlandish claims, he might not have faced such serious criminal charges. In fact, he might have dodged all criminal charges completely.

In the end, the authorities concluded that he failed to generate any returns for his investors – instead taking their cash and spending it on luxury cars, casinos, and other personal expenses. He also failed to return any of the money, and it was therefore only a matter of time before he encountered legal issues. While this is perhaps an overly obvious example of fraud, the incident still highlights the need for caution among crypto investors.

Why Do Crypto Investors Face So Much Attention from the Authorities? 

Crypto investors face serious attention from the authorities because of new, controversial developments in the world of digital currency. Perhaps the most notable example is the FTX scandal, and Sam Bankman-Fried is facing an ongoing trial for his alleged fraud. In the same manner as the Florida man detailed above, SBF spent customer funds on questionable personal expenses. These activities will undoubtedly lead to a greater crackdown from the authorities, who clearly plan to avoid these scandals in the future.

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale? 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, look no further than Haber Blank, LLP. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants in the Sunshine State, including those who have been accused of fraud. We know that due to the negative stigma that surrounds cryptocurrencies, it is all too easy to find yourself in the crosshairs of the Justice Department. Book your consultation today to push back and fight for your rights.




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