- The leader of a Miami crew behind a multimillion-dollar crypto fraud scheme has been sentenced to prison.
- The defendant pleaded guilty earlier in court.
- Along with the prison sentence, the court ordered restitution and forfeiture.
The leader of a Miami syndicate accused of orchestrating a crypto fraud scheme that stole millions of dollars from U.S. banks has been sentenced to prison.
On November 29, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, announced the sentencing of Esteban Da Corte, who had pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme and his co-conspirators.
A Multimillion-Dollar Crypto Fraud Scheme
Per the press release, in 2020, Da Corte and his co-conspirators engineered a scheme that defrauded U.S. banks and a leading unnamed crypto exchange by acquiring digital assets and falsely claiming the purchase transactions were unauthorized.
This prompted the U.S. banks and the crypto exchange to reverse the transactions and redeposit the money into the bank accounts controlled by Da Corte and his crew. Following the reversals, the crew would withdraw the money from the bank accounts while retaining the purchased crypto assets.
To conceal their identities and affect the scheme, crew members opened accounts in the crypto exchange using photos of fake U.S. passports, fake driver’s licenses, and stolen personal identifying information.
In the long haul, the operation netted the defendants over $4 million in fraudulent reversals and $3.5 million worth of illicit crypto from the exchange. But as fate would have it, Da Corte’s date with justice occurred three years later.
Judge Sentences Da Corte to Prison
As a result of the crimes, U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla sentenced Da Corte to 63 months in prison. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams welcomed the development, stating:
“This sentencing should send a clear message that we, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to zealously prosecute cryptocurrency scammers and money launderers.”
Along with the sentence, the court ordered Da Corte to pay restitution of $3,578,786.69 and forfeiture of $1,200,000.
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DOJ Charges Suspects in $10M Crypto Money Laundering Scheme
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