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Press Release

Centreville Man Sentenced for $300,000 Crypto-Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Centreville man was sentenced today to 2 years in prison for defrauding three cryptocurrency trading platforms out of more than $300,000.

According to court documents, between 2021 and 2022, Rayan Sharaf, 55, ran a novel cryptocurrency fraud scheme. As part of the scheme, Sharaf moved funds from his individual bank accounts to accounts at cryptocurrency trading platforms. After purchasing cryptocurrencies within the trading accounts, Sharaf then transferred the funds to different wallets and bank accounts nominally owned by third parties but which Sharaf actually controlled. These third parties included adult and minor family members whose identifying information was fraudulently obtained by Sharaf. He then contacted the original banks and falsely claimed that the initial transfers to the trading platforms had not been authorized, thereby fraudulently inducing the banks to issue refunds. In total, Sharaf defrauded three cryptocurrency platforms out of a total of over $300,000 which he used to purchase luxury goods international flights, and jewelry and to pay off debts.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Morgan and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Mulbry prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:23-cr-114.

Updated November 17, 2023

Financial Fraud