MIAMI, Fla. – A Miami man has been charged for allegedly operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency and stock investment scheme.
A federal grand jury in Miami has indicted Ryan James Crawford, a/k/a “Brody,” 30, with eight counts of wire fraud for running a fraudulent cryptocurrency and stock investment scheme, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida (USAO).
According to the charges, from around June 2020 through March 2022, Crawford allegedly tricked victims into investing about $800,000 in his scheme by making false claims, such as falsely claiming to be a highly successful licensed stockbroker who had made tens of millions of dollars through similar cryptocurrency and stock investments.
He also is alleged to have falsely claimed to have access to enough money to timely repay potential investors, that he had developed an artificial intelligence trading software that “never lost,” and that he misrepresented the investment as low-risk and high reward, among other things.
It is alleged that Crawford did not return any victim funds or generate the exponential returns he promised.
“Rather, on some occasions, he simply diverted investors’ funds and cryptocurrency for his own personal use, including to pay for luxury rental cars and gambling at the casino,” the USAO said.
Crawford was arrested in Colorado and made his initial federal court appearance on March 13 in Denver federal court.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, acting Special Agent in Charge Maged Behnam of the FBI, Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Rafael Barros of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, and Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III of the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), announced the charges.
FBI Miami, USSS Miami, and Miami-Dade Police Department Cyber Crimes Investigative Unit investigated the case with assistance from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR). Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hauser is prosecuting it. Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Stone is handling asset forfeiture.
An indictment contains mere allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 23-cr-20100.