New Orleans man admits defrauding customers through Bitcoin sales | USAO-EDLA
NEW ORLEANS – US Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MICHAEL YUSKO, III, 46, a New Orleans resident, pleaded guilty today to operating an unlicensed money transmission business before U.S. District Judge Barry W. Ashe.
According to court documents, federal agents have received complaints from May 2018 that YUSKO sold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to clients, but did not complete transactions. YUSKO would promise customers any amount of bitcoin in exchange for US dollars at five percent above the market price for a five percent fee. He then instructed these clients to deposit US dollars into one of a number of corporate bank accounts, including Nervous Light Capital LLC, Ready Demolition LLC, Patriot Concrete Pumping, LLC, Praetorian Energy, LLC, and Hudson Oak Partners LLC. . YUSKO did not register these companies as money transfer companies with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the Department of the Treasury, nor did it comply with the regulations of Title 31, State Code. United, Section 5330. YUSKO also instructed its customers not to tell any bank employee that the purpose of their transfer was to purchase cryptocurrency. Agents learned that banks frequently close accounts used to sell cryptocurrency, and that banks have already closed YUSKOaccounts for such activity.
Court documents detail how clients contacted YUSKO and paid him tens of thousands of dollars for bitcoin. While YUSKO transacted with many customers, he did not make any other trades, and then he did not return the US dollars deposited in his accounts. YUSKO recognized to be responsible for $ 201,399.00 in losses for the victims. As part of his advocacy, YUSKO agreed to refund in full.
YUSKO faces a maximum of five years in prison, a maximum fine of $ 250,000, up to three years of supervised release and a mandatory special assessment of $ 100. Judge Ashe expected YUSKOthe penalty for November 4, 2021.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Orleans and the local office of the U.S. Secret Service in New Orleans. Deputy United States Attorney Matthew R. Payne is in charge of the prosecution.