Joseph Kim, a former assistant trader at Consolidated Trading, a Chicago-based firm that initially deals on currencies and commodities trading, has been awarded a prison sentence for 15 months.
Kim was accused of defrauding his employers and stealing roughly $600,000 in bitcoin and litecoin from the firm, while also duping his close friends by $545,000, using the entire $1.145 million for his interests, a news portal, BTC Manager reported on Tuesday. He stole the amount to cover his trading losses, when he was hired to trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
His larceny came to light when the firm discovered the missing funds and asked Kim if he had a hand in the matter. Although he denied vehemently, his activities came to light, after which the firm fired him. After being terminated, he borrowed some cryptocurrencies from his friends and told them he was starting his own cryptocurrency firm.
Not just that, his friends and some victims gave him their retirement savings that he misappropriated heavily and then presented fake documents to show that his ‘firm’ had profitable returns.
He pleaded guilty to all four charges of fraud, including one charge that was filed by the Commodities and Futures Commission (CFTC), against him. Commenting on the verdict, two Attorney Generals said despite the complex nature of cryptocurrency trading, “the criminal justice system will continue to hold traders and investment experts accountable for fraudulent practices.”
The CFTC, in the past, while upholding the virtues of cryptocurrencies, has been very pro-active while taking down bad actors in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In October this year, the body leveled charges against a fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO), MyBigCoin.
In the charges brought forward by the CFTC, the regulatory body had stated one particular cryptocurrency My Big Coin (MBC), was a commodity under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). It had said, “MBC is a virtual currency and it is undisputed that there is futures trading in virtual currencies (specifically involving Bitcoin).” The Court, upholding the CFTC’s version said that commodities could be extended to a host of specifically enumerated agricultural products as well as ‘all other goods and articles . . . and all services rights and interests . . . in which contracts for future delivery are presently or in the future dealt in.”
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