The National Trial Lawyers
Avvo Rating 10.0
Avvo Clients' Choice
Avvo Rating Superb
Expertise Badge
Avvo Clients' Choice

Federal wire fraud and money laundering charges involving cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes

The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo, PLLC Team

On December 14, federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced two new indictments against several individuals accused of conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering through alleged phony cryptocurrency schemes called Forcount and IcomTech. These cases present interesting challenges for both prosecutors and defense attorneys, however, because of the high volatility of the cryptocurrency market and the oftentimes lax regulation of the industry.

The allegations in these cases suggest that the defendants used the public enthusiasm and fervor around cryptocurrency investing to run what amounted to a Ponzi scheme with a crypto appearance. The defendants allegedly went to crypto conventions and investor events and flashed conspicuous wealth in order to persuade people to invest in their cryptocurrencies. The defendants allegedly used a software platform to allow investors to see their investments growing, but the defendants would not allow the investors to withdraw funds. Meanwhile, these defendants allegedly used the investor funds for their own purposes and spent the money lavishly.

The defendants might argue that there was in fact a real cryptocurrency investment that simply failed, as so many cryptocurrencies have. (Some reputable economists might even argue that the entire cryptocurrency industry is, at base, a Ponzi scheme in and of itself.) Prosecutors will use bank records and other evidence to show that these investor accounts ran dry because they were emptied by the defendants.

The charges here are predominately conspiracies to commit Wire Fraud (18 USC 1343) and Money Laundering (18 USC 1956(h)). A person commits wire fraud, basically, when he or she commits fraud using the internet or a telephone system. Money laundering involves taking stolen money (or proceeds from an illegal activity) and knowingly converting it into another form or depositing it into a bank account, for example.

The defendants face significant potential prison sentences. Generally, the penalties for wire fraud and money laundering depend largely on the amount of money stolen. However, the penalties can increase significantly where there are many victims, or when a person acts as a manager of others in the criminal conspiracy, or when the person has a criminal record. In addition to prison penalties, the defendants, if convicted, can expect to owe their victims significant amounts in restitution.

Matthew Galluzzo is an experienced criminal defense attorney and former Manhattan prosecutor. He has successfully represented many individuals accused of federal wire fraud and money laundering and understands how prosecutors investigate and build their cases. If you or a loved one have been accused of wire fraud in federal court, you should strongly consider contacting him today to discuss his potential representation.

Client Reviews

I found myself in such a dark place thinking only God could understand and help me through this horrible situation. But Matthew Galluzzo did. And he did so in a very kind, compassionate and respectful manner. Enough said.


Matthew Galluzzo saved the day when the unthinkable happened. Every phone call was returned within minutes. All email correspondences were replied to expeditiously. Matt handled our case as if it was a member of his own family in the courtroom. Despite all the obstacles along the way, Matt's legal...


In less than an hour of assessing my case, Mr. Galluzzo had a clear direction and evoked a confident demeanor that was infectious. During the course of several court appearances he was always prepared, and took more than a personal interest when errors in court procedure occurred. Mr. Galluzzo...


We hired Matt when my son was arrested on several very serious felony charges. Matt is not only very knowledgeable about the law, he genuinely cares about his clients. He was patient and professional, inside the courtroom and out, in what turned out to be a very long process. He worked closely with...


Get in Touch

  1. 1 Over 20 Years of Experience
  2. 2 Available 24/7
  3. 3 We Fight for You!
Fill out the contact form or call us at (212) 344-5180 to schedule your consultation.

Leave Us a Message