East Hampton Cryptocurrency Firm Founder Convicted of Fraud

Bitcoin symbol and gavel to regulate cryptocurrencies market.
The Hamptons bitcoin founder faces 20 years in prison. (Getty Images)

A cryptocurrency company founder from East Hampton was convicted of conning investors out of more than $6 million and using the money to buy jewelry, antiques and artwork for four years.

A jury found My Big Coin founder Randall Crater guilty at Boston federal court on July 21 of wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

“Mr. Crater saw the burgeoning popularity of crypto as a chance to get rich quick through an unscrupulous fraud scheme cloaked by flashy marketing tactics and outright lies,” said Rachael Rollins, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts.

Prosecutors said the 51-year-old man misrepresented in advertisements the nature and value of the Las Vegas-based company’s coins, falsely claiming that the company provided fully functioning cryptocurrency backed by $300 million in gold, oil and other valuable assets between 2014 and 2017.

He falsely told investors that My Big Coin funds could readily be exchanged for government-backed paper currency or other virtual currencies, authorities said. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed civil charges against My Big Coin CEO John Roche and two of Crater’s associates, Mark Gillespie and Michael Kruger. 

Crater faces up to 20 years in prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced on October 27.

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