Founder of $7.5M ‘brazen fraud scheme’ gets 8 years behind bars

Randall Crater was ordered to pay back the millions lost by victims of his fraudulent crypto scheme and spend 100 months in jail followed by a three-year supervised release.

Founder of “My Big Coin” Randall Crater has been sentenced to 100 months in prison and ordered to pay over $7.6 million to the victims of his fraudulent scheme. 

The U.S. Department of Justice said on Jan. 31 that Crater was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Denise Casper in Massachusetts.

The sentence comes after Crater was convicted by a federal jury on July 21 on four counts of wire fraud, three counts of unlawful monetary transactions and one count of operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

My Big Coin was founded by Crater in 2013 and falsely marketed as a cryptocurrency payment service, luring victims between 2014 and 2017.

Crater claimed the coins on My Big Coin were fully functional cryptocurrencies backed by gold and that the platform had a partnership with Mastercard.

Crater also marketed the “My Big Coin Exchange,” advertised as a crypto exchange where the coins could be swapped for U.S. dollars and other fiat currencies.

A significant portion of the $7.6 million obtained by Crater and his marketing team went toward a house, several cars and over $1 million in antiques, artwork and jewelry.

U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement the damage done by Crater inflicted a serious amount of trauma and financial hardship on his victims:

“For nearly four years, Mr. Crater perpetrated a brazen fraud scheme that preyed on investors and customers who put their faith in him and his fake business, resulting in victim losses of over $7.5 million.”

“His lies and deception inflicted real trauma, pain and hardship on the lives of 55 individual victims and their families who funneled their money into bank accounts Mr. Crater controlled and used to finance his extravagant lifestyle,” she added.

Related: 800 victims of ‘massive’ Bitconnect fraud to receive $17M restitution

Even after his conviction, Crater continued to protest his innocence, stating in an Oct. 21 YouTube video that a My Big Coin credit card did in fact exist and claiming that an investor testified under oath to having used the card multiple times.

Legal action against Crater dates back to Sept. 25, 2018, when now-former Judge Rya Zobel of the Massachusetts District Court ruled against a motion to dismiss a case launched by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The Department of Justice officially filed criminal charges against Crater on Feb. 19, 2019.

After Crater’s 100-month tenure behind bars, he will be subject to a supervised release for the following three years.

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