Former Deutsche Bank Investment Banker Charged With Crypto Fraud in US – On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that Rashawn Russell, a registered broker and 27-year-old investment banker residing in Brooklyn, New York, was taken into custody on April 10 for criminal offenses associated with his purported involvement in operating a cryptocurrency investment scam.
According to prosecutors, Russell deceived numerous investors by enticing them with assurances of significant, and in some cases, certain returns from investing and trading in cryptocurrencies. Nonetheless, he utilized their funds for his personal gain, including gambling and paying back other investors to perpetuate the scheme.
As per the indictment, the defendant frequently failed to deliver the pledged rates of return to investors. Moreover, when certain investors demanded repayment of their investments, he deceitfully claimed that he had transferred the funds to them.
Although the legal document only specifies that Russell was employed as an investment banker from July 2018 until November 2021, according to Reuters, he commenced working as an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank in July 2018 and was later elevated to the position of associate in July 2020.
Declining to comment specifically on an ongoing legal case, the bank stated through a spokesperson that it “regularly supports law enforcement and regulatory oversight efforts, including appropriately responding to and cooperating with authorized investigations and proceedings.”
As reported by Bloomberg, Russell garnered investments from acquaintances, former classmates, and colleagues by persuading them that he had created a profitable strategy for trading in alternative cryptocurrencies. He has been accused of wire fraud, and if found guilty, could face a maximum of 20 years in prison. The banker pleaded not guilty and was granted release on bail of $200,000.
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“Russell turned the demand for cryptocurrency investments into a scheme to defraud numerous investors in order to fund his lifestyle,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace was quoted as stating. “This Office will continue to aggressively pursue fraudsters perpetrating these schemes against investors in the digital asset markets,” he emphasized. Russel’s indictment comes amid an ongoing crackdown on crypto-related fraud in the United States.