Rathnakishore Giri, a 27-year-old investment manager living in New Albany, Ohio, was arrested on Friday on criminal charges for alleging running a cryptocurrency investment scam that raised at least $10 million from investors, according to a Department of Justice press release.
Giri allegedly misled investor by promoting himself as an expert cryptocurrency trader with a specialty in bitcoin derivatives. According to the indictment, Giri falsely promised investors lucrative returns on the money they invested with him, with no risk to principal. In reality, he used funds from previous investors to pay off new investors in a classic Ponzi scheme set-up.
Giri is charged with five counts of wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prior on each count if convicted.
In August, the U.S. Commodities Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a cease-and-desist order against Giri and his two companies, alleging he cheated investors out of more than $12 million and seeking to get Giri to pay back his investors. The CFTC charged that Giri used investors’ money to fund a lavish lifestyle of private jets, yacht rentals and more.