A New Albany, Ohio man was arrested Friday on charges of wire fraud. Rathnakishore Giri has been charged with running a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme worth at least $10 million, according to the Department of Justice.
Mr Geary promoted himself to investors as an expert in trading Bitcoin derivatives, a claim authorities said was both fraudulent and misleading. According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which filed civil enforcement charges against Mr. Geary in August, his alleged scheme ran from March 2019 to at least August 2022.
Mr. Geary is accused of promising investors risk-free with the supposed guarantee that they would return their principal investment. Instead, Mr. Geary paid former investors with money from new investors, a “hallmark of a Ponzi scheme,” the Justice Department said.
Mr. Geary and his companies “misappropriated more than $12 million and at least 10 bitcoins from more than 150 clients and … intended for digital asset trading,” the CFTC alleged in an August public action notice.
Mr. Giri is accused of defrauding the money to “[Mr.] Giri’s extravagant lifestyle that included yacht charters, luxury vacations and luxury shopping,” the CFTC reported.
Investors tried to cash out or recoup their principal investments; Mr. Giri is accused of directing them and bringing up the reason for the delay in payment.
Mr. Geary is now charged with five counts of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces up to “20 years in prison on each count,” according to the Justice Department.