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Cryptocurrency site operator pleads guilty in SF federal court to defrauding investors

The operator of a cryptocurrency website has pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom in San Francisco to defrauding investors of nearly $1 million, according to a joint announcement from the Department of Justice and the IRS.

Ryan Mark Ginster, 35, of Corona, admitted in his plea agreement Wednesday that he operated a website beginning in February 2018 called designed to defraud investors by making false representations about cryptocurrency investment opportunities.

Prosecutors said if people who believe they have been a victim of this fraud scheme, please contact IRS-Criminal Investigation at or go to the following website:

According to the announcement, Ginster represented on the website that investments would receive returns of 8 percent a day and claimed that “This will be JOB REPLACING income, the income that will pay you every hour of every day even when your [sic] sleeping or on holiday.”

Ginster further claimed on the website that investors could “request your profits at any time you want and they’ll be INSTANTLY paid to your Bitcoin/Litecoin wallet.”

Ginster admitted these and numerous other claims on his website were entirely false and intended solely to influence investors to part with their money or property.

In the 38 days that the website was active, the website received approximately 9,026 deposits of bitcoin totaling approximately 98.12089739 BTC, valued at the time at approximately $844,667.

Ginster admitted he did not invest the funds but instead deposited these funds into his own cryptocurrency wallet, now worth more than $1.6 million.

Ginster remains out of custody pending sentencing scheduled on May 23.

The case is being prosecuted by the Corporate and Securities Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS-CI Washington D.C. Cyber Crimes Unit.

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