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Cryptocurrency scam allegedly duped investors through promises of a worldwide sports group

The Verge logo The Verge 11/6/2019 Colin Lecher
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A New York man allegedly ran a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme by claiming it was tied to a United Nations affiliate promoting international development through sports, according to an indictment released this week by the Department of Justice.

A digital coin called IGOBIT

According to the department, 47-year-old Asa Saint Clair sold investors on a digital coin called IGOBIT, offering them guaranteed returns and a stake in the cryptocurrency. The funding, he allegedly told investors, would go toward the World Sports Alliance, a group that claimed to be tied to the UN and to work on global development projects. But the coin never existed, and World Sports Alliance didn’t work on any international projects, prosecutors say.

Instead, Saint Clair allegedly used the proceeds on personal expenses, including meals and plane tickets. Prosecutors didn’t detail exactly how much Saint Clair allegedly made, but in documents, they said multiple people had invested thousands of dollars each and that the scheme lasted for the past two years.

Saint Claire faces one count of wire fraud and the possibility of 20 years in prison.

A special agent-in-charge of the Homeland Security Investigations division in New York said in a statement that Saint Clair “allegedly touted his company as promoting the values of sports and peace for a better world, yet defrauded all those who invested in his sham company.”

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