The notorious California CEO who defrauded his investors and embezzled $147 million dollars in an international cryptocurrency scam was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison – according to the federal prosecutor’s office.
Steve Chen, 63, managed to deceive 72,000 investors across the world by pretending that his company, US Fine Investment Arts, mined precious metals in non-existent mines he said he owned in the US, Mexico, Argentina, and elsewhere.
The prosecution alleges that Chen was selling investors rights to shares worth $1,000-30,000 apiece, saying his company was ready to go public.
Chen later spoke to his victims of an also fake cryptocurrency, Gem Coin, which he claimed would throw into the market and take ahead at the competition, as it had all the gems back to support its value.
Chen managed between July 2013 and September 2015 to defraud tens of thousands of investors with such knitwear.
“As the main plan was to recruit more investors, rather than sell US Fine Investment Arts’s products to the retail trade, the vast majority of investors were destined to lose money, making Chen very wealthy,”– prosecutions office
His company offered cash, travel, cars and even houses in Los Angeles to every investor who brought more people to the pyramid he had set up.
As for the cryptocurrency, “it was not in circulation in any industry, nor was it ever accepted by any trader, it had no economic value,” the prosecution office noted.
Chen pleaded guilty last June and was forced to pay more than $1.8 million in res. dollars in damages.