Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MICHAEL ACKERMAN, who orchestrated a multimillion-dollar cryptocurrency investment scheme, pled guilty to wire fraud today before United States Chief District Judge Laura Taylor Swain. ACKERMAN admitted to causing victim losses of more than $30 million.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As he admitted today, Michael Ackerman raised millions of dollars in investments for his fake cryptocurrency scheme by falsely touting monthly returns of over 15 percent, falsifying documents to con investors into thinking his fund had a balance of over $315 million, and spending millions in investor funds on himself. Now Ackerman awaits sentencing for his crime.”
According to the Indictment and the underlying complaint filed in this case, as well as prior court filings and recent court proceedings:
In or about 2017, MICHAEL ACKERMAN and others started a purported cryptocurrency “investment” fund (the “Fund”) and recruited hundreds of individual investors into the Fund. The Fund was an investment club that allowed its members to contribute U.S. dollars, which the investors were told would then be used to invest and trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. ACKERMAN was held out as the Fund’s chief trading officer and personally controlled the Fund’s primary trading account on an online cryptocurrency exchange. Based on figures provided by ACKERMAN, the Fund claimed that its proprietary trading algorithm was earning approximately 15 percent in profit for investors each month.
By December 2019, ACKERMAN claimed that the Fund investment pool – which consisted