- Under the guilty plea, accused has to make restitution exceeding $1.5 million to victims.
- Reportedly, Russell duped 29 investors out of $1.5 million in a span of 4 months.
Former Deutsche Bank investment banker Rashawn Russell has pleaded guilty to investment fraud in connection with a fraudulent cryptocurrency trading scheme, potentially facing a 30-year prison sentence.
Russell, aged 27, confessed to his role in operating the “R3 Crypto Fund,” a deceptive crypto investment fund. He is now obligated, as part of his guilty plea, to make restitution exceeding $1.5 million to the victims.
Between November 2020 and August 2022, Russell duped 29 investors out of $1.5 million, capitalizing on his reputation as an investment banker and licensed financial broker. He falsely promised them guaranteed, outsized returns on crypto investments and fabricated documents to deceive them.
Most shockingly, the investigation found that Russell misappropriated the majority of the $1.5 million he obtained, using it for personal gain, gambling, and to repay earlier investors in his scheme.
In addition to the investment fraud, Russell also admitted guilt in a separate identity theft scheme where he fraudulently acquired credit cards and other devices using false information, with the intention of executing illegal transactions.
This case exemplifies the rising incidence of crypto fraud. Notably, just earlier this week, Hong Kong authorities apprehended six individuals in connection with a suspected cryptocurrency fraud case involving at least 1 billion Hong Kong dollars ($127.8 million) worth of virtual assets.