Joshua Nicholas faces up to five years in prison for stealing $100 million in digital assets from investors with his colleagues.
Joshua David Nicholas, a Florida citizen, admitted that he and other users of the cryptocurrency platform EmpiresX defrauded investors out of $100 million in digital assets. He now faces up to five years in federal prison as a maximum sentence.
Another criminal gang from the Florida area was apprehended by US officials last month. Esteban Cabrera Da Corte, Luis Hernandez Gonzalez, and Asdrubal Ramirez Meza, all of Miami, could face up to 30 years in prison for scamming banks and a cryptocurrency platform for more than $4 million.
The Crypto Ponzi Scheme Worth Millions
According to the US Department of Justice, Joshua David Nicholas was the “Head Trader” for EmpiresX, which was marketed as a cryptocurrency platform with “guaranteed” returns for investors.
Nonetheless, the trading platform was a fraudulent scheme that duped investors out of $100 million in digital assets. Over the years, Nicholas and several of his colleagues deceived users by claiming that the company used artificial and human intelligence to maximize profits.
EmpiresX was a standard Ponzi scheme that was never registered with financial regulators and never even attempted to obtain the appropriate permits.
The platform’s founder pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He faces a maximum term of five years in federal prison because he accepted his offenses. A sentencing date has yet to be set because the court will review the final decision with the US Sentencing Guidelines before making an announcement.
All impacted individuals were asked to contact the official website of the US Department of Justice and identify themselves as potential victims of the fraud. As a result, customers will receive more information on how to be paid and will be required to file an impact statement.
Another Case Like This in Florida
At the end of August, US officials charged three Miami, Florida citizens - Da Corte, Gonzalez, and Meza - with stealing more than $4 million from banks and a bitcoin exchange.
The wrongdoers purchased digital assets from the trading platform using forged initials and then complained to financial institutions about the transactions, requesting a return.
The bogus reversals cost banks more than $4 million, while the unnamed cryptocurrency site lost more than $3.5 million in digital assets.
However, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) discovered the scheme and arrested the men. Those involved now face up to 30 years in prison.