Former Deutsche Bank Executive Admits Guilt in ‘R3 Crypto Fund’ Scandal

A former high-ranking executive at Deutsche Bank, who faced charges earlier this year in connection with a fraudulent cryptocurrency trading operation, has now admitted to investment fraud, putting himself at risk of a lengthy prison sentence of up to 30 years.

As reported on September 19 by the Department of Justice, Rashawn Russell, a 27-year-old individual, has confessed to his involvement in a scheme centered around the operation of a deceptive cryptocurrency investment fund known as the “R3 Crypto Fund.”

From November 2020 to August 2022, Russell executed a scheme that swindled 29 investors out of a total sum of $1.5 million. He exploited his background as an investment banker and a licensed financial broker to promise investors substantial and guaranteed returns on a series of cryptocurrency investments.

What makes Russell’s case even more egregious is the fact that he repeatedly deceived investors about the status of their investments and went to great lengths to fabricate multiple documents containing false information regarding their returns, according to findings by the DOJ.

To maintain the illusion, Russell even resorted to sending manipulated images of his bank account balances to his unsuspecting investors. On another occasion, when an investor tried to cash out their cryptocurrency investment, Russell failed to transfer the funds as promised and instead sent a falsified money transfer confirmation.

Investigators have discovered that the majority of the $1.5 million Russell obtained from his victims was never actually invested in cryptocurrency assets. Instead, he diverted these funds for his personal use, gambling, and repaying earlier investors, all within the confines of his fraudulent scheme.

In addition to his involvement in the cryptocurrency investment fraud, Russell has also pleaded guilty to a separate identity theft scheme. In this scheme, he fraudulently acquired credit cards and various other devices using fabricated information.

Russell’s intention behind obtaining these false identity documents was to engage in illegal and unauthorized transactions, as per the DOJ’s findings.

As part of his sentencing, Russell now faces the possibility of serving up to 30 years behind bars for his crimes. United States Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara has also ruled that he must pay restitution exceeding $1.5 million.

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