US ICO Scammer Sentenced to 18 Months Behind Bars

By Shannon Wilson | November 19, 2019

Maksim Zaslavskiy – a Brooklyn-based computer engineer and the first US citizen to be charged with operating a fraudulent ICO – has received his 1,5 years of jail time in the final indictment.

Reported by Law360 on November 18, the Brooklyner has been sentenced to 18 months behind bars for being the operator of double ICO frauds. He promoted the scams ICO to be supported by collateral properties – diamonds and real estate, respectively – but have failed to prove their existence. Zaslavskiy has admitted his crimes in November last year, to conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Zaslavskiy has tricked his victims to believe real estate experts are in charge of leading the ICO and supported by the US property investments. Over 1,000 investors have fallen for the scam, costing at least $300,000 in financial damage individually in the scam ICO back in 2017. 

“Zaslavskiy committed an old-fashioned fraud camouflaged as cutting-edge technology. […] This office will continue to investigate and prosecute those who defraud investors, whether involving traditional securities or virtual currency.” Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, remarked. 

Zaslavskiy’s attorney, Mildred Whalen of the Federal Defenders of New York, said to federal Judge Raymond Dearie that Zaslavskiy had the intention of compensating the lost funds of the victims. PayPal, however, reportedly blocked his bank account, fearing that ICO payments were finalized using stolen or fraudulent credit cards.

“This is a very unusual case for a lot of reasons. It involves new technologies and new currencies. But there is nothing new about lying or flagrant fraud.”  Judge Raymond Dearie concluded.

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