Miami News

Miami man sentenced to prison for orchestrating nearly $1 million cryptocurrency scheme

Ryan James Crawford preys on investors with false promises of lucrative returns in a bogus crypto scheme

30-year-old Miami resident Ryan James Crawford, notorious for orchestrating a fraudulent cryptocurrency and stock investment scheme, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida ordered Crawford to pay $988,895.85 as restitution for the victims on Wednesday.

Deceptive promises and betrayed trust: Unveiling the cryptocurrency scheme

Under the guise of a self-proclaimed cryptocurrency entrepreneur, masked under the moniker "Brody," Crawford enticed unsuspecting victims into his deceptive trap, luring them with false promises of soaring profits through an alleged crypto coin dubbed “Cheetah.” Videos circulated on social media in December 2021 showcased Crawford boasting of an imminent global takeover, intensifying the allure of his scheme.

According to investigations spanning June 2020 to March 2022, Crawford duped investors into pouring nearly $1 million into his fictitious enterprise. Posing as a licensed stockbroker with an ostensible track record of lucrative cryptocurrency and stock ventures, Crawford falsely portrayed himself as a reliable entity capable of timely repaying potential investors. His fraudulent claims of infallible AI-driven trading software, coupled with misrepresentations of the investment as high-reward and low-risk, formed the foundation of his deceit.

A man holding a silver cryptocurrency

Betrayed trust and financial ruin: The devastating impact on victims

Despite enthralling assurances, Crawford not only failed to fulfill his promises of excessive returns but also diverted investors' funds and cryptocurrency for personal indulgences, including casino gambling and luxury rental cars. The aftermath of his deceitful practices left victims reeling from significant financial losses and shattered trust.

Speaking to NBC6 Investigators, victims shared their harrowing experiences. Dorian Godfrey recounted a staggering loss of approximately $130,000, condemning Crawford's actions as abhorrent theft. Meanwhile, Humza Quadri revealed the emotional toll of losing $75,000, half of which belonged to his parents, exposing the heart-wrenching consequences of Crawford's betrayal.

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