Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for $5.5 Million Cryptocurrency Scheme

Julien Abat Weymouth, a 21-year-old man, has been sentenced to 2-1/2 years in federal prison for orchestrating a sophisticated cryptocurrency scheme that defrauded clients of a staggering $5.5 million. The sentencing took place on Thursday in the District Court of Guam, where Senior Judge Alex Munson delivered the verdict.

According to court records, Weymouth’s illicit activities spanned from January 2020 to at least April 2021. During this time, he operated an unlawful money transmitting business, primarily dealing with the exchange and transfer of cryptocurrency, particularly bitcoin. Weymouth solicited cash and cryptocurrency from clients both within and outside of Guam, promising them substantial returns on their investments.

However, Weymouth failed to register his business as required by federal law, which ultimately led to his downfall. The charges against him stemmed from his failure to comply with regulations governing cryptocurrency exchanges on behalf of others. As a result, Weymouth was able to keep excess funds that were not guaranteed to his clients.

Court documents also revealed that Weymouth actively sought funds from individuals involved in illegal activities, further complicating the nature of his scheme. Over the course of his operation, he transmitted approximately $5,517,323.45 worth of funds and cryptocurrency, which he reinvested in various forms of digital currency, kept in cash, or used to purchase vehicles and assets.

In a surprising twist, Weymouth’s guilty plea led to the forfeiture of his ill-gotten gains. The seized assets include a staggering $13 million in currency, primarily in bitcoin, as well as six different models of Honda vehicles.

Weymouth’s defense attorney, Rawlen Mantanona, argued for a sentence that did not involve incarceration, emphasizing that his client’s actions were not intended to defraud the government, society, or financial institutions. Mantanona contended that Weymouth sought to assist individuals who had fallen victim to previous bitcoin scams, providing them with a legitimate opportunity to recover their lost funds.

Furthermore, Mantanona highlighted Weymouth’s lack of knowledge regarding the evolving landscape of bitcoin regulations. He expressed remorse and regret for his client’s actions, emphasizing that Weymouth had cooperated with the federal government and served as a confidential informant in the investigation of William Ichioka.

Ichioka, a former Guam resident, was recently sentenced to four years in the Northern District of California for his involvement in a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. Weymouth’s role as a confidential informant played a crucial part in persuading Ichioka to surrender 334.5 Bitcoin to the U.S. Government, a significant contribution towards resolving the case and compensating the victims.

While Weymouth’s actions may have been driven by a desire to rectify past wrongs, the court deemed his crimes serious enough to warrant a 2-1/2 year prison sentence. As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to evolve, this case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of adhering to regulations and conducting business ethically in the digital realm.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

2 Responses

  1. While it is undeniable that Julien Abat Weymouth’s actions were illegal and resulted in significant financial losses for his clients, it is important to consider the broader context of this case. Firstly, it is crucial to recognize that Weymouth is just one individual among many who have engaged in fraudulent activities within the cryptocurrency industry. It would be unfair to solely blame him for the entire negative perception surrounding cryptocurrencies.

    Furthermore, it is worth noting that the cryptocurrency market is still relatively new and lacks proper regulation.

  2. It’s disheartening to see young individuals like Julien Abat Weymouth engaging in such fraudulent activities. This case highlights the need for stricter regulations and security measures within the cryptocurrency industry. It’s crucial for investors to be cautious and conduct thorough research before getting involved in any investment scheme. This incident serves as a reminder that the allure of quick profits should never cloud our judgment when it comes to financial decisions.

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