Justice Department Charges Two Men for Operating $25 Million AI Crypto Ponzi Scheme

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged an Australian citizen and a California man with operating a $25 million crypto Ponzi scheme.

In a Dec. 12, 2023, news release, the Justice Department said the two men, identified as David Gilbert Saffron of Australia and Vincent Anthony Mazzotta Jr. of California, allegedly operated a fraudulent scheme promising investors to employ intelligence artificial (AI). Automated trading robot to exchange victims’ funds into cryptocurrencies and make high-yield profits.

However, instead of investing the victims’ funds in cryptocurrencies, the two men allegedly misappropriated the victims’ funds to “pay for personal expenses, including flights on private jets, accommodations in luxury hotels, rentals of private mansions , a personal chef and private security guards,” says the Department of Justice.

According to the regulator, Saffron often solicited victims under various aliases, including David Gilbert, Blue Wizard and Bitcoin Yoda, in an effort to conceal his identity. Additionally, to conceal the location of the victims’ crypto funds, the defendants used crypto mixers.

Saffron and Mazzotta are charged with multiple criminal offenses, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. If convicted, they each face a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, as well as 20 years for each count of wire fraud, 10 years for each count of money laundering and five years. for conspiring to obstruct justice. Saffron also faces up to 10 years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other sentence, for committing serious crimes while on pretrial release, the news release said.

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