A recent press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a cryptocurrency fraudster was sentenced to 42 months in prison for devising a fraudulent investment scheme that took in more than $600,000 from 60 victims. According to the press release, the fraudster convinced victims to loan money to his organization, World Sports Alliance, based on a purported connection to the United Nations and for the promise of investment returns related to a digital currency called IGObit.

Another recent DOJ press release announced the guilty plea of an individual accused of laundering and transmitting the proceeds of Ponzi-type investment fraud schemes based out of Nigeria. According to the press release, the schemes involved the offer of trading and bitcoin investing services in a Ponzi-like fraud. The defendant reportedly laundered the fraud proceeds through a network of co-conspirators in the United States, and used his personal and business accounts in the United States and Nigeria.

Another Ponzi-type fraud was targeted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which recently announced an action against an individual and his affiliated companies for fraudulently raising and misappropriating funds from investors. The defendant and his companies are alleged to have fraudulently offered and sold securities using false and misleading statements to raise approximately $4.3 million, telling investors that the funds would be invested in digital assets. According to the press release, only a fraction of those funds were invested in digital assets and the defendant made early repayments to investors in a Ponzi-like fashion to attract more investments.

This week the SEC also issued a cease-and-desist order against Sparkster Ltd. and its chief executive officer for the alleged unregistered offer and sale of "crypto asset securities." The SEC also charged a crypto influencer for failing to disclose compensation he received from the company for promoting the company's SPRK tokens and for failing to file a registration statement with the SEC for tokens he resold. The order finds that the SPRK tokens, as offered and sold, were securities that were neither registered with the SEC nor exempt from registration. The company and its CEO settled and agreed to collectively pay in excess of $35 million into a fund for distribution to harmed investors, according to the press release.

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