Three alleged cryptocurrency traders ran a Ponzi scheme which scammed more than 100 investors for over $35 million, according to a lawsuit filed by an entity formed by the victims in a federal court of Florida, United States.
According to an announcement published on April 2, Q3 Investment Recovery Vehicle, who represents defrauded investors, accused the trio of alleged crypto traders of cheating victims by promising them a winning trading formula.
Former NYSE and Wells Fargo workers among the accused
The federal securities fraud case names three individuals as the primary perpetrators of the scheme. They include James Seijas, who worked as a financial advisor for Wells Fargo until March 2019, Quan Tran, a surgeon, and Michael Ackerman, who was a New York Stock Exchange institutional broker. These three are thought to have appropriated money from at least 20 victims who relayed their complaints in the court.
The Q3 Recovery Vehicle stated the following:
“The founders claimed, fraudulently, that the investments would be used to trade cryptocurrency using a proprietary and wildly successful algorithm developed by Ackerman.”
Less than $10 million was used for crypto trading
According to the complaint, less than $10 million “and possibly less than $5 million” of the collected investments were used for virtual currency trading. Meanwhile, the defendants allegedly misappropriated at least $20 million for their personal use.
The recovery vehicle claimed that between August 2017 and December 2019, all funds were collected to finance the Ponzi scheme, including posts on a doctor-centric Facebook group.
Donna Seijas (wife of James Seijas) and Steve Saunders, who was the vice presidents of operations for Skyway Capital Markets LLC, are also mentioned in the complaint.