Former Deutsche Bank Banker Sentenced for Ponzi-Like Cryptocurrency Fraud

Rashawn Russell, a former Deutsche Bank investment banker, has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for a Ponzi-like cryptocurrency fraud. He admitted to wire fraud and identity theft, promising investors guaranteed returns. Russell must pay over $1.5 million in restitution for his actions, which also included gambling and fraudulent purchases.

Reuters | Updated: 31-05-2024 04:49 IST | Created: 31-05-2024 04:49 IST
Former Deutsche Bank Banker Sentenced for Ponzi-Like Cryptocurrency Fraud

A former Deutsche Bank investment banker was ordered by a U.S. judge on Thursday to spend 41 months in prison, after pleading guilty to a Ponzi-like fraud in which he promised investors guaranteed returns from cryptocurrency trading.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Rashawn Russell, 28, of Brooklyn, was sentenced eight months after admitting to wire fraud and access device fraud, and three months after his bail was revoked. Russell was also ordered to pay victims more than $1.5 million in restitution.

A federal public defender representing Russell did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Russell allegedly told friends, former college classmates and onetime Deutsche Bank colleagues he could generate 25% returns in three months, and had doubled some investors' money in earlier three-month periods.

The alleged scheme ran from November 2020 to August 2022, with Russell using some money to gamble and to repay earlier investors, court papers show. Prosecutors also said that in a separate fraud, Russell obtained at least 140 credit, debit and identification cards in the names of third parties, and used stolen card information to open online gambling accounts and make fraudulent purchases.

Russell was jailed in February after prosecutors accused him of continuing his identity theft scheme following his arrest. He had been under home detention. In a letter to the sentencing judge this month, Russell said he was "deeply remorseful for creating victims out of many of my closest friends and acquaintances," whose money he squandered to fund a "crippling" gambling and substance abuse addiction.

Russell worked at Deutsche Bank from July 2018 to November 2021, court and brokerage industry records show. His LinkedIn profile said he started at Deutsche Bank as an analyst and was promoted to associate two years later.

Deutsche Bank was not accused of wrongdoing.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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