Jon Barry Thompson, the accused operator of a fraudulent crypto escrow service that defrauded $7 million from two customers, is expected to enter a guilty plea — with prosecutors aiming to finalize proceedings in September.
"The parties expect to reach a disposition of this matter and respectfully request that the court set a control date in September 2020 for the entry of that disposition,” the prosecution wrote in a letter submitted to the court.
In April, Thompson’s counsel, Peggy Cross-Goldenberg, indicated that both sides had made “substantial progress” towards disposition.
Four counts of fraud
Thompson was indicted in September 2019 on four counts of fraud relating to his provision of cryptocurrency escrow services through his firm Volantis Market Making. After being arrested in Pennsylvania, Thompson was released on a $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors allege that Thompson received $3 million to fund the purchase of Bitcoin (BTC) on behalf of a company during June and July of 2018. Thompson then sent the funds to a third-party entity without first receiving any BTC — resulting in the apparent loss of the funds.
After allegedly lying to the firm about the status of the transaction, Thompson convinced a second firm to forward $4 million to purchase cryptocurrency — also resulting in a significant portion of the funds being forwarded to a third party without the client receiving any BTC.
Thompson is facing two counts of commodities fraud — each carrying up to 10 years imprisonment, and two counts of wire fraud — each carrying a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Thompson faces up to 60 years in prison
Volantis is also facing civil charges filed through the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), while Thompson is also facing a lawsuit brought by Irish firm Symphony FS — who are believed to have forked out the $4 million to Volantis for escrow services.