An Australian man has pleaded guilty to cheating investors out of more than $90 million by squandering the money they deposited in his cryptocurrency fund.
- Stefan He Qin committed the fraud between 2017 and 2020
- He tried to steal money from another fund he controlled to meet the redemption demands of the defrauded investors
- Qin faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 20
Stefan He Qin, 24, entered the plea to a single count of the fraud charge in Manhattan federal court.
Authorities said the fraud occurred from 2017 to 2020 as Qin operated a fund titled Virgil Sigma.
“Stefan He Qin drained almost all of the assets from the $90 million cryptocurrency fund he owned, stealing investors’ money, spending it on indulgences and speculative personal investments, and lying to investors about the performance of the fund and what he had done with their money,” US lawyer Audrey Strauss said.
She said Qin then tried to steal money from another fund he controlled to meet the redemption demands of the defrauded investors in the former fund.
Prosecutors said Qin cheated dozens of investors, including many in the United States.
They said the fraud was revealed last year when Qin was having difficulty meeting redemption requests from investors.
Qin faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 20.
Qin’s lawyers Sean Hecker and Shawn Crowley said in a statement that their client “has accepted full responsibility for his actions and is committed to doing what he can to make amends”.