United States Attorney Justin Herdman announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland had returned a five-count indictment. The jury charged Dominic Lacroix, Yan Ouellet, and Sabrina Paradis-Royer, all of Quebec, Canada, with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The defendants are accused of running a crypto scam Plexcoin and were planning an ICO to defraud investors.
The defendants intended to use the ICO as a way to defraud investors.
According to the accusations made on defendants, from May 2017 to December 2017, these three conspired together to induce investors to purchase PlexCoin, a cryptocurrency offered through an entity known as PlexCorps. The cryptocurrency would become available to investors during an Initial Coin Offering. The defendants had planned to use the ICO as a way to defraud investors and enrich themselves. To carry out their alleged scheme, the defendants promoted PlexCorps and the PlexCoin ICO to the public, including investors within the Northern District of Ohio, via different social media platforms. The defendants had allegedly planned an elaborate exit scam.
Crypto scams continue to rise amid the ongoing pandemic.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation had issued a warning earlier this year about how scammers might be looking to unleash a surge in crypto scams amid the ongoing global pandemic. Since the inception of bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency has come a long way as it continues to gain mainstream exposure. However, scams related to cryptocurrency have also increased over the last few years many times. There are several types of crypto scams, including fake giveaways, sextortions, fake exchanges, fake ICO’s, bitcoin recovery, video scams, Ponzi schemes, and the list goes on. Earlier, accounts of famous people on Twitter were hacked to solicit bitcoins from their followers. The people whose accounts got hacked included former US President Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and many others.