Suspect Pleads Guilty To Being Behind A $37 Million Cryptocurrency Scheme

Suspect Pleads Guilty To Being Behind A $37 Million Cryptocurrency Scheme

Tyler Cross Tyler Cross
Published on: May 29, 2024

Chirag Tomar, a 30-year-old Indian national, pleaded guilty to charges of running a cryptocurrency scheme and stealing more than $37 million from victims.

He created a fake website masquerading as Coinbase and used the stolen funds to fuel an over-the-top lavish lifestyle, including taking trips to Thailand and Dubai, buying Lambourghini’s, Rolex’s, and otherwise living in the lap of luxury.

Tomar and his co-conspirators spoofed the Coinbase Pro website by using a similar fake URL, CoinbasePro.Com,” according to a statement released by the Department of Justice.

“In order to deceive unsuspecting users into believing they were accessing the legitimate Coinbase webpage, the fraudulent website was crafted to mimic the authentic website. Once victims entered their login credentials into the fake website, an authentication process was triggered,” the DOJ said.

Note that at this point, Coinbase Pro has been converted to Coinbase Advanced as of November 2023. If you see any websites posing as Coinbase Pro, immediately leave that site. Under no circumstances connect your wallet. The report details a victim who connected his wallet to the fraudulent site and immediately lost tens of thousands of dollars.

In another case, the suspect robbed the Western District of North Carolina of more than $240,000.

The suspect admitted to owning multiple cryptocurrency wallets which he frequently used to funnel stolen crypto through. After stealing the crypto, he would run it through multiple wallets and mixing services.

“Ultimately, the cryptocurrency was converted into cash which was then distributed to Tomar and his co-conspirators,” the DOJ said.

He was arrested on Dec. 20, 2023, after arriving in the US and recently pleaded guilty to his charges.

His crimes face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine (on top of losing the stolen funds). Note that it’s normal in the US justice system to plead guilty for a lesser sentence, so the maximum sentence isn’t set in stone. A sentencing date has not been set yet.

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