Federal attorneys in Brooklyn, NY are celebrating the first-of-its-kindsecurities fraud plea. Prosecutors there accused Maksim Zaslavskiy of marketing digital currency to investors. Zaslavskiy told investors that he secured his “initial coin offering” (ICO) with diamonds and real estate. In reality, no real property backed up the digital currency’s value.
Zaslavskiy marketed his digital currency by telling investors that he held real estate interests in developed countries. He also promised them astounding returns on their investments. Later, he offered a blockchain-based digital currency that he claimed to have secured with diamonds.
The defendant’s lawyers argued that Congress had not intended securities fraud laws to apply to cryptocurrency. They sought to have the case against their client dismissed. The judge, however, ruled that Congress intended to protect investors of all kinds, regardless of their investment vehicles. He also noted that the indictment against Zaslavskiy described a “straightforward scam.”
The judge’s ruling would not prevent a jury from considering the defense that cryptocurrencies are not securities. Zaslavskiy’s plea renders the question moot. In addition to the charges of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, prosecutors added a wire fraud charge. Since he pleaded guilty to the securities fraud charge only, he will face up to 5 years in federal prison. The Securities and Exchange Commission also has a pending lawsuit against Zaslavskiy. That lawsuit will proceed now that the criminal proceedings have finished.
Federal securities fraud lawyer
Securities fraud charges can result in significant prison time, especially when prosecutors pair them with other charges like conspiracy and wire fraud. When you face securities fraud charges, hire an experienced federal securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend takes federal cases in any circuit in the United States. He has more than 30 years of experience in federal defense cases. Throughout his career, he has built and maintained a reputation for fighting aggressively for his clients. Mr. Helfend handles each matter personally. Your case will receive his full attention because he doesn’t pass clients on to less experienced partners.
Don’t settle for inexperience and don’t assume that you have no defense options. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County securities fraud case.
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