Defendant Sentenced to 86 Months in Prison for Defrauding Investors in Binary Options and Cryptocurrency Scheme
Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Blake Kantor, who formerly operated a binary options company known as Blue Bit Banc and Blue Bit Analytics (“BBB”), was sentenced by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein to 86 months’ imprisonment for operating a scheme to defraud BBB investors, and BBB investors who also invested in a cryptocurrency known as “ATM Coin,” to be followed by three years’ supervised release. Kantor was also ordered to pay restitution of $806,405 to the victims of his crime, forfeiture of $1.5 million, and forfeiture of approximately $153,000 of stolen proceeds. In November 2018, Kantor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and as part of his plea agreement, he admitted to obstructing the government’s investigation.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI), and James McDonald, Director, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), announced the sentence.
“Kantor has been held accountable for defrauding investors through his lies and deceit,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously prosecute those who perpetrate financial frauds and obstruct investigations of their crimes.”
“Mr. Kantor has rightfully been punished for making promises he knew would not be kept. IRS-Criminal Investigation is committed to apprehending those who create elaborate schemes that have no purpose other than to mislead investors by defrauding them for personal gain,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Larsen.
“The CFTC is committed to working vigorously to root out fraud in all of our markets, including those involving virtual currencies,” stated CFTC Director McDonald. “As this parallel action shows, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who engage in this sort of misconduct are identified and held accountable. I am grateful to the U.S. Attorney and his team for their work on this important case.”
In March 2014, Kantor established BBB, and from approximately 2014 to 2017, he and others solicited and received approximately $1.5 million from more than 700 investors in BBB’s binary options. Kantor told investors that they could place binary option trades, or a BBB representative could do so for them, and that the predetermined profits promised them would be based on the actual prices of securities, currencies and other investments at particular points in time. However, Kantor did not inform the investors that a BBB computer software program fraudulently altered data associated with binary options investments, so that the probability of investors earning a profit favored BBB and disadvantaged investors. Kantor also fraudulently persuaded several BBB investors’ to convert their BBB investments into “ATM Coin,” a worthless cryptocurrency that he told investors was worth as much as $600,000.
In October 2017, after FBI agents informed Kantor that they were investigating his involvement in binary options, Kantor directed a co-conspirator to alter BBB customer lists. Around the same time, Kantor deleted emails related to his scheme. When interviewed by the FBI, Kantor falsely stated that he had not been involved in binary options since August 2013.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley T. King and Madeline M. O’Connor are in charge of the prosecution.
BLAKE KANTOR (also known as “Bill Gordon”)
Fort Lee, New Jersey
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-177 (SJF)