According to a statement released by the US Attorney's office in Brooklyn on Tuesday, 27-year-old Rashawn Russell was detained on Monday on fraud charges for allegedly promising various investors that their money would be utilised for cryptocurrency investments.
Rashawn Russell is a Gates Millennium Leadership Scholar and a Posse Scholar.
Each year, 1,000 exceptional high school seniors in the United States are chosen to participate in the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, which provides full tuition and fees paid scholarships to attend the college or institution of their choosing.
When it comes to helping low-income and minority students get into college and improve their leadership skills, few programmes can compare to Posse.
In the indictment, Russell is accused of telling potential investors that he runs a cryptocurrency fund called R3.
He is a licenced broker who works in investment banking and can help them make big and sometimes guaranteed profits.
Russell, accused in a sealed indictment last Thursday and detained on Monday in Brooklyn, faces one count of wire fraud for a conspiracy from November 2020 to August 2022.
On Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn, he entered a not-guilty plea.
US attorney Breon Peace said if found guilty of wire fraud, Russell may spend as much as 20 years behind bars.
"Russell turned the demand for cryptocurrency investments into a scheme to defraud numerous investors," the attorney in Brooklyn, said in a statement.
Peace also said, "As alleged, Russell turned the demand for cryptocurrency investments into a scheme to defraud numerous investors to fund his lifestyle."
"This office will continue to aggressively pursue fraudsters perpetrating these schemes against investors in the digital asset markets," he added.
More Details of the Charges
While employed by Deutsche Bank from 2018 to 2021, the US government claims that Russell falsely represented himself as an investment banker and licenced broker to friends, former classmates, and coworkers to gain financial support.
Russle also reportedly claimed to have created a profitable system for trading "altcoin" cryptocurrencies and made returns of more than 100% for his clients in three months.
Prosecutors allege that he lured investors with false promises of a set return of up to 25% after three months and the full return earned by their investment beyond that time.
Prosecutors claim that Russell forged various papers and misled investors about the status of their deposits as part of the conspiracy.
They claim that he provided one investor with a doctored screenshot of a bank account balance showing a large amount of money in the account.
Prosecutors said that when another investor requested a return on their investment, Russell produced a fake confirmation of a bank wire transfer that purported to demonstrate the return of the investor's money.
While Deutsche Bank said it will not comment on a current legal process, it issued the following statement.
"(We) regularly support law enforcement and regulatory oversight efforts, including appropriately responding to and cooperating with authorized investigations and proceedings."
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