The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission unveiled charges in a $1.9 billion cryptocurrency fraud scheme

US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, June 20, 2023.

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the Ministry of Justice On Monday, it announced criminal charges against two people and a third person's guilty plea for organizing a $1.9 billion cryptocurrency fraud scheme known as HyperFund, among other names.

the Securities and Exchange Commission In a related civil suit, it charged two of these individuals with their involvement in the alleged cryptocurrency pyramid scheme.

Nicole Argentieri, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, said the three defendants charged by the Department of Justice falsely claimed that investors in HyperFund would receive “substantial returns paid from cryptocurrency mining operations, which in reality did not exist.”

“The level of fraud alleged here is staggering,” said Eric Baron, US Attorney for Maryland.

Defendants in the criminal case are Sam Lee, an Australian citizen living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, who is accused of co-founding Hyperfund, as well as two HyperFund promoters, Rodney Burton of Miami, and Brenda Chunga of Severna Park, Maryland. .

Lee, 35, was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud. Burton, 54, was charged with one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transfer company and one count of operating an unlicensed money transfer company.

The two men face a possible maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted.

Chunga pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, for which she faces the same possible maximum sentence.

HyperFund was also known as HyperTech, HyperCapital, HyperVerse and HyperNation.

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The Department of Justice alleges that from June 2020 through November 2022, Lee and his co-conspirators sold investment contracts online through the HyperFund platform and claimed that investors would receive returns of between 0.5% and 1% each day until their original investments were doubled or tripled. .

The headquarters of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, DC, USA on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.

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