The top dealer of South Florida-based cryptocurrency platform EmpiresX pleaded responsible in an alleged funding fraud scheme that raised round $100 million from traders, the Justice Division stated.
Joshua David Nicholas,
of Stuart, Fla., pleaded responsible Thursday on the U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of Florida in Miami to 1 depend of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, in keeping with courtroom paperwork.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. Nicholas and the founders of the agency, which is often known as Empires Consulting Corp., fraudulently claimed their enterprise operated a buying and selling bot utilizing synthetic and human intelligence that assured returns to traders. In actuality, nevertheless, EmpiresX was “a Ponzi scheme” that paid earlier traders with cash obtained from later traders, prosecutors allege. The corporate additionally didn’t register its funding program with the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee as required.
a federal public defender in Miami representing Mr. Nicholas, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The responsible plea follows a Justice Division indictment in June of Mr. Nicholas and the founders of the agency, Emerson Sousa
Flavio Mendes Gonçalves,
on conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud prices. The 2 founders, each Brazilian nationals, had been additionally charged with conspiracy to commit money-laundering.
On the identical day of the June indictment, the SEC additionally filed fraud prices towards the corporate and the three people, alleging they lured traders with false claims of 1% day by day income and misappropriated massive sums of the investor cash for private use. Messrs. Pires and Gonçalves additionally prevented traders from withdrawing their funds by early this 12 months and had left the U.S. for Brazil, the SEC stated. The Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee, the derivatives market regulator, additionally filed prices towards Empires Consulting Corp.
Mr. Pires didn’t instantly reply to an e mail requesting remark. Mr. Gonçalves couldn’t be reached for remark. No authorized representatives are listed in courtroom data for Messrs. Pires and Gonçalves.
A sentencing date hasn’t been scheduled for Mr. Nicholas, who faces a most of 5 years jail time, in keeping with the Justice Division.
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Appeared within the September 9, 2022, print version as ‘Crypto Platform’s Chief Dealer Admits Fraud.’