US Sentences Bitcoin Seller to 1 Year in Jail for Defrauding Investors

A bitcoin seller has been sentenced to one year and one day in jail for defrauding customers, according to a notice by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The man took money from customers but did not provide them with the agreed-upon bitcoin.

Fraudulent Bitcoin Seller Going to Jail

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week that Michael Yusko has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison “for defrauding customers through unlicensed bitcoin business.”

The 47-year-old resident of New Orleans sold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to customers in May 2018. “Yusko would promise customers any amount of bitcoin in exchange for U.S. dollars at five percent above market price for a five percent fee,” the DOJ detailed, emphasizing that he failed to follow through on transactions.

According to the Justice Department, customers subsequently complained about their bitcoin purchases, stating:

Yusko had defrauded them by not providing them with the agreed-upon bitcoin after taking their money.

In addition, the New Orleans resident did not register his company as a money transmitting business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the Department of Treasury, the DOJ added, elaborating:

Yusko also instructed his clients not to tell any bank employees that the purpose of their wire transfer was to purchase cryptocurrency.

Noting that the bitcoin seller had pleaded guilty in this case pursuant to a plea agreement and “admitted to being responsible for $201,399.00 in losses to victims,” the DOJ concluded:

Judge Ashe sentenced Yusko to one year and one day of prison, as well as three years of supervised release and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee. As part of his sentence, Yusko was ordered to make full restitution to victims in the amount of $411,009.00.

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