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Justice Continues: Las Vegas Resident Charged in $45 Million CoinDeal Scam

In a continued crackdown on cryptocurrency fraud, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Bryan Lee, a 57-year-old resident of Las Vegas, for his alleged involvement in the notorious CoinDeal scam. Lee is accused of conspiring with the mastermind behind the scam, Neil Chandran, to defraud more than 10,000 investors.

The DOJ’s statement reveals that Lee collaborated with Chandran and other parties associated with Chandran’s entities, such as Free Vi Lab, ViDelivery Inc., and ViMarket Inc. These companies enticed investors with promises of exceptionally high returns, supposedly generated by a consortium of affluent buyers.

According to the DOJ, Lee acted as the nominee owner and director of ViMarket, taking instructions from Chandran on how to handle and distribute the funds received from investors. Both Lee and Chandran are accused of misappropriating millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors, utilizing the ill-gotten gains to finance extravagant lifestyles, including luxury cars and real estate.

The charges against Lee include one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, and three counts of engaging in monetary transactions involving criminally derived property. If convicted, Lee could face up to 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud, conspiracy, and wire fraud, as well as an additional 10 years for each count of engaging in criminal monetary transactions.

The SEC had previously charged Chandran and seven others in January of this year for their roles in the CoinDeal scheme. Chandran, considered the mastermind behind the operation, was apprehended in June 2022. Another individual implicated in the scam, Michael Glaspie, responsible for marketing CoinDeal, has already pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and awaits sentencing in mid-June.

The pursuit of justice in cases like these demonstrates the commitment of regulatory agencies to safeguard investors and maintain the integrity of the cryptocurrency market. The DOJ’s actions serve as a strong deterrent to those who seek to exploit unsuspecting individuals for personal gain. As the battle against fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes continues, authorities aim to restore trust and foster a secure environment for investors in the evolving digital landscape.

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