Northborough Man Pleads Guilty To Aiding Romance Fraudsters With Bitcoin

ByTroy Morris

Dec 18, 2020

Crime surrounding the crypto space is always pushing to discredit the good intention behind the creation of blockchain technology. Cybercriminals have always used cryptocurrency to prevent the tracing of transactions which is primarily why regulation for the platform has been continually discussed by the state.

The man, who is an indirect agent of the cybercrime, was charged to court at the Federal court in Worcester. The man aided the laundering of funds from mostly romance and lottery scams in the form of cryptocurrency to the fraudsters behind the scam.

How man violated the US money laundering law

The man whose name is Austin Nevded was guilty of all charges based on the press release the court gave concerning his crimes. The 29-year-old man admitted that he was a cryptocurrency trader and that he sold his crypto for money to those who are interested.

He revealed that he had a business name on some exchanges like the and the Through investigation, it was apparent that the young man had aided the scams from 2017 to 2019. The fraudsters have a preference for scamming elderly victims through the romance and lottery scams.

The romance scams follow a similar pattern and are mostly people they met online who they have found a romantic link to. After establishing the romantic connection, the fraudsters then begin to ask for funds from the vulnerable victims for different reasons. The lottery scam victims are often persuaded to send funds to be able to win lotteries or be given special bonuses.

The criminals convince victims by promising them something they want like a romantic relationship or money from government grants. The federal court was convinced that the trader knew his clients were being scammed, but he still went ahead to sell them Bitcoin for cash to send to the fraudsters.

Fraud victims recount their experience

There was a 78-year-old who was a romance scam victim in 2017, according to the news release. The criminal deceived the elderly victim into thinking he was ‘Jonathan G’ an oil company owner. The two of them never met but continued chatting till the 78-year-old was romantically connected to the scammer.

Jonathan G explained to the scammed person that his oil company got so many people injured through an accident, and he needed some money to settle the issues. The scammer emphasized the importance of the settlement and stated that he could not go back to the US to marry the unsuspecting victim till he paid the settlement.

The scammer also requested Bitcoin in payment from the elderly. Convinced, the victim who did not have previous experience with cryptocurrency approached Austin to buy some Bitcoin to send to the con artist. Austin traded Bitcoin worth $100,000 to the victim to send to the fraudster.

Unfortunately, similar cases occurred with Austin being the trader and knowing that his customers were scam victims, he willfully sold them cryptocurrency, thereby aiding wire fraud and money laundering, which is against the US laws.

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