federal prosecutors allegedly On Friday, a Nevada man helped swindle 10,000 investors out of more than $45 million by touting a fake Metaverse project with its own crypto token that would one day sell for trillions of dollars.
Bryan Lee, a 57-year-old Las Vegas resident, was named in a surrogate accusation for his involvement in an alleged investment fraud scheme called CoinDeal. Lee was charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and criminal money transactions. The charges in the broader case date back to June of last year.
Lee worked with three other people to convince investors that CoinDeal was a legitimate family of companies working to develop virtual reality products, federal prosecutors alleged. Lee and his co-conspirators also said they were in talks with a potential “consortium of wealthy buyers,” according to the indictment.
CoinDeal’s backers told investors that the funds would be needed to cover operating costs until the sale was completed, with Lee and his co-conspirators promising significant returns. In reality, the alleged fraudsters spent a lot of money on luxury cars and real estate, according to prosecutors.
The replacement indictment said the conspirators misrepresented the names of two billionaires as part of the potential buyer group. Billionaire-1 is described as the founder and CEO of an ‘online retail company’, while Billionaire-2 is described as the founder and CEO of an ‘electric car company’.
Although no names were named in the indictment, these two descriptions match the characteristics of Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, while not actually a founder, is two of the richest people in the world.
Lee worked under the direction of Neil Chandran, who posed as “the owner” of the conglomerate, and alongside Michael Glaspie, a Florida man who helped raise investor funds, according to prosecutors.
Lee was not named at a US Securities and Exchange Commission meeting in January Complaintbut Chandran and Glaspie, along with five others, have been charged for their role in the CoinDeal investment program in the unregistered offering and sale of securities.
Prosecutors have also charged another unnamed co-conspirator, Individual-1, with allegedly raising money and laundering money for Chandran. The SEC has indicted a Nevada man, Garry Davidson, who matches the description of Person-1.
Chandran was arrested and calculated in June 2022, while Glaspie pleaded guilty to wire fraud in February.
Chandran is described in the SEC complaint as a “recidivist securities law offender and convicted felon.” Targeting “primarily novice investors,” he and his backers claimed his technology would be sold to the bogus billionaire-backed consortium for “trillions of dollars,” the SEC claimed.
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