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Press Release

Creator of International Digital-Asset Exit Schemes Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Ivars Auzins Conspired to Steal from Investors in a Series of Digital-Asset Exit Scams Through False Promises and Misrepresentations

Earlier today, Ivars Auzins, a Latvian national, pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to conspiring to commit securities fraud in connection with defrauding investors in a series of digital-asset exit scams.  Today’s proceeding took place before United States Magistrate Judge Taryn A. Merkl.  When sentenced, Auzins faces up to five years in prison.  As part of his sentence, Auzins has also agreed to pay $497,006 in forfeiture.  Auzins was extradited to the United States from Latvia in August 2022.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the guilty plea.

The term “digital asset” refers to an asset that is issued and transferred using distributed ledger or blockchain technology.  According to court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, Auzins and his co-conspirators fraudulently marketed multiple digital-asset offerings to investors worldwide by misrepresenting their products and services, the profits investors would earn and the qualifications of the individuals making the offerings.  Auzins and his co-conspirators intentionally failed to deliver on these promises, diverting millions of dollars’ worth of proceeds for their personal benefit while continuing to represent that the benefits would be forthcoming.  

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorney John O. Enright is in charge of the prosecution with assistance from Paralegal Jordi Martinez. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs worked with law enforcement partners in Latvia to secure the arrest and extradition of Auzins to the United States.

The Defendant:

Age:  31
Riga, Latvia

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-357 (ERK)


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass
U.S. Attorney's Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated December 15, 2023

Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud