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An ex-executive of Deutsche Bank enters a guilty plea for the “R3 Crypto Fund” fraud.

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Rashawn Russell could potentially face a maximum of three decades behind bars due to his involvement in a deceptive cryptocurrency trading scheme. A former investment banker at Deutsche Bank, who had been charged earlier in 2023 in connection with a fraudulent cryptocurrency trading scheme, has now admitted guilt to investment fraud and may confront a prison term of up to 30 years. According to a statement released by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on September 19, Rashawn Russell, aged 27, has confessed to participating in a scheme where he oversaw a deceitful crypto investment fund named the “R3 Crypto Fund.” From November 2020 to August 2022, Russell deceived 29 investors, siphoning off $1.5 million in funds by capitalizing on his reputation as an investment banker and a licensed financial broker. He falsely promised investors that he could secure guaranteed, remarkably high returns on a series of cryptocurrency investments. On numerous occasions, Russell misled investors regarding their investments and concocted multiple documents featuring fictitious data concerning their returns, as per the DOJ’s findings. The prosecution also discovered that Russell sent manipulated images of his bank account balance to his investors. In one instance, when an investor attempted to cash out on a crypto investment, Russell failed to transmit the funds and instead forwarded a falsified confirmation of the money transfer. Prosecutors revealed that the majority of the $1.5 million acquired from victims did not find its way into cryptocurrency assets. Rather, Russell misappropriated the funds for personal gain, gambling, and repaying prior investors embroiled in the scheme. Beyond his involvement in the investment scheme, Russell has also admitted to participating in a separate identity theft operation, where he illicitly procured credit cards and other devices using falsified information. The DOJ reported that Russell acquired these false identity documents with the intention of executing unlawful and unsanctioned transactions. Upon sentencing, he faces a potential three-decade prison term for his transgressions, with U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara mandating restitution exceeding $1.5 million.

Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.