Miami Man Sentenced to 5.5 Years in Prison for Cryptocurrency Scam
A Miami man, Ryan James Crawford, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for running a fraudulent cryptocurrency and stock investment scheme that netted him nearly $1 million. In addition to the prison sentence, Crawford has been ordered to forfeit $988,895.85. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced the sentencing on Wednesday.
Crawford, who also goes by the name “Brody,” presented himself as a cryptocurrency entrepreneur, claiming that he would make people rich with his new crypto coin called “Cheetah.” In a video posted on December 5, 2021, Crawford confidently stated, “We are about to take over the world.”
However, authorities discovered that from June 2020 to March 2022, Crawford deceived victims into investing nearly $1 million in his scheme. He falsely portrayed himself as a highly successful licensed stockbroker who had made millions through similar cryptocurrency and stock investments. Crawford also made false claims about having access to a substantial amount of money to repay potential investors.
Moreover, Crawford misrepresented the investment as low-risk and high-reward and falsely touted his development of an artificial intelligence trading software that “never lost.” Prosecutors highlighted these fraudulent activities.
Unfortunately, Crawford failed to return any funds to his victims or fulfill the promised returns. Instead, he diverted investors’ funds and cryptocurrency for personal use, including extravagant expenses like luxury rental cars and gambling at the casino.
After a thorough investigation, Crawford was arrested in Colorado and faced eight counts of wire fraud. The victims of Crawford’s scam shared their experiences with NBC6 Investigators, revealing how they had lost tens of thousands of dollars. It was a devastating blow for people like Dorian Godfrey, who lost approximately $130,000. “Well, I would call it disgusting. It’s theft. It’s very, very evil,” Godfrey expressed. Humza Quadri recounted losing $75,000 that included his parents’ savings.
This case serves as a stark reminder of the risks and dangers associated with fraudulent investment schemes in the cryptocurrency and stock market. It emphasizes the importance of conducting thorough due diligence and research before investing and being cautious of promises that sound too good to be true.
Law enforcement agencies continue to crack down on individuals who exploit unsuspecting investors. The sentencing of Ryan James Crawford sends a strong message that those engaged in fraudulent activities will face severe consequences. Authorities hope that this will serve as a deterrent to others and promote a safer investment environment.
As cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity and attract more individuals, it is crucial for investors to remain vigilant and exercise caution. By staying informed and being skeptical of extravagant claims, potential investors can protect themselves from falling victim to scams and fraudulent schemes.