Crypto escrow agent dodges jail after lying over stolen millions


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A Manhattan federal choose has let an escrow agent stroll free for deceiving a crypto funding supervisor about having bought $3.25 million value of Bitcoin on their behalf in 2018. 

Throughout a listening to held over video convention on Feb. 4, U.S district Choose Edgardo Ramos ordered Volantis Market Making founder John Barry Thompson of Pennsylvania to repay the $3.25 million to New York-based funding supervisor, Iterative OTC, and sentenced him to 3 years of supervised launch. Thompson pleaded guilty in October 2020.

In response to authorized publication Law 360, Choose Ramos took under consideration Thompson’s lack of ill-intent and the very fact he had been sufferer of fraud himself, stating:

“Mr. Thompson engaged in severe felonious conduct [but] we have now to place that in context. This was an uncommon fraud.”

Choose Ramos was additionally prepared to grant Thompson some leeway resulting from considerations concerning Covid-19’s impression on the overcrowded U.S jail system. With the danger of contracting the virus being very excessive and a scarcity of available vaccinations in prisons, Ramos famous the U.S judicial system wanted to “relieve as a lot stress as we will from the correctional services.” 

In 2018, Thompson’s escrow agency Volantis was sent $3.25 million by Iterative OTC to buy 500 Bitcoin on their behalf. Nonetheless, whereas making an attempt to buy the BTC from a 3rd occasion, Thompson discovered himself at a loss when the sellers allegedly took Iterative’s $3.25 million with out offering any Bitcoin in return.

The 2 sellers, disbarred lawyer Phillip Reichenthal and fugitive Randy Craig Levine, at the moment are going through fraud costs in an ongoing courtroom case earlier than Manhattan U.S District Choose Lewis A. Kaplan.

Regardless of having misplaced the funds, Thompson lied to Iterative for days concerning the unsuccessful commerce and falsified account statements to point out a steadiness for the BTC that was by no means bought.

In July 2018, Thompson once more falsified paperwork after a second shopper transferred Volantis $4 million to buy BTC that was by no means acquired. Choose Ramos ordered Thompson to repay the $4 million.

Thompson assured the choose that he would preserve a clear slate transferring ahead, stressing that whereas he was responsible of deceiving his shoppers, his intention had been for the offers to succeed.

“I can promise your honor … I can’t be in hassle with the regulation once more,” he stated.