Ponzi fraud schemes are as old as the financial markets themselves; it is not the first time that a criminal mastermind has defrauded the system using his wits and the usual targets, which are people. The recent highlight of the day is Stefan Qin, an Australian crypto advisor; he was working on two illegal crypto funds and was able to con investors for millions of dollars. But the authorities caught him, and he will be serving more than 7 years inside a prison cell for the damage he has done.
Stefan is an Australian national and 24 years old. He always had a knack for the crypto market and knew how the system works, and used that knowledge to defraud investors of about $90 million. The sentence has just been given by the courts to Stefan, and he will be subjected to 90 months of captivity in federal prison. The courts have also ordered Stefan to give away $55 million from the stolen loot back to the investors, or otherwise, it would implicate his sentence, and it could be elongated even further.
Ponzi Schemes Even Exist Today
A press release was recently released from the United States, which contains all the information about what these funds were and how Stefan managed to deprive investors of nearly $90 million. The investment firms Stefan was in charge of were Virgil Sigma, and VQR and both had their headquarters in New York. The overall working framework of these companies was to get money from the investors, which were later subjected to pretty dangerous trading strategies.
The most negative aspect of this whole crusade was that these funds advertised themselves as the market-neutral equivalents, thus fooling the customers into believing that the fund they are going to invest in has zero implications and doesn’t rely on the volatility of the crypto market. This is not only false advertising but literally looting people for their hard-earned money. False news also spread across these funds as one of them landed in a Wall Street Journal that Virgil Sigma has scored an annual return of 500% in 2017. Now, when the authorities have caught Stefan, this whole circus is over for good.