Randall Crater – the founder of defunct crypto business My Big Coin – was sentenced to eight years in prison for defrauding both customers and investors out of millions of dollars.
Randall Crater Is Heading to Prison
U.S. District Judge Denise Casper in Boston oversaw the case involving Crater and his now failed company. Initially, prosecutors sought as many as 13 years in jail for the former crypto executive. The goal was to make an example of him and make any other people in the crypto space thinking about engaging in illicit activity take a step back and reconsider their actions.
Crater had hoped to get only 30 months in prison, which means he would have been behind bars for about two and a half years at the most. In many ways, the prison term handed down to him is a meeting-in-the-middle type of situation. While he didn’t get the maximum years sought, his low-end request was also not adhered to.
Crater is alleged to have made many false claims to those taking part in My Big Coin, a big one being that it was a cryptocurrency backed by gold. In a statement, Judge Casper said:
Certainly, cryptocurrency is a newer enterprise, a newer market, a 21st century market, but the scheme at its core was age-old, and that was fraud.
Aside from the 100 months he will serve in jail, Crater has been ordered to forfeit close to $8 million as a means of repaying those he hurt. The former crypto executive is expected to appeal the decision, though he was apologetic for the actions he took and said he didn’t mean to cause anyone harm. He commented:
I did not set out to steal money from anyone. That does not mean I am not remorseful.
Overall, about 55 people fell victim to Crater’s scams. Many were required to delay their retirement plans, while others lost tuition money and endured additional financial problems. Joseph Bonavolonta – head of the FBI’s Boston office – explained:
Spreading outright lies, Randall Crater defrauded dozens of victims out of more than $7.5 million, convincing them their cryptocurrency investments were backed by gold when in reality, their hard-earned money went to funding his lavish lifestyle.
So Much Crime, Lately!
The crypto space has become a major haven for crime. The biggest example in recent years involves the now defunct crypto exchange FTX, which first came about in the year 2019. Rising through the ranks, it became one of the top five digital currency trading platforms in 2022, and its founder – Sam Bankman-Fried – was lauded as a genius by many.
However, the company is alleged to have utilized customer funds to invest in real estate and pay off loans for another company. SBF is now awaiting trial in California.