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Press Release

Southern California Man Charged In Cryptocurrency Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Scam Websites Promised High Investment Returns, Took In More Than $5 Million Of Cryptocurrency, Then Shut Down Quickly

SAN FRANCISCO – Ryan Mark Ginster was arrested today in Los Angeles on federal charges filed in San Francisco of wire fraud and money laundering, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Special Agent in Charge Darrell J. Waldon of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Washington D.C. Field Office.  Ginster will appear in Los Angeles federal court, the first step in a procedure to obtain Ginster’s appearance in United States District Court in San Francisco.  

The complaint’s affidavit alleges that Ginster, 34, of Corona, California, engaged in an online investment fraud scheme that began as early as February 2018 and continued to February 2021.  During this time, Ginster ran multiple websites, including one he created and operated named Socialprofimatic.com.  Socialprofimatic.com offered a high-yield investment program that promised outlandishly high returns on investments with little or no risk to investors.  Investors could only invest with cryptocurrency, which creates transactions that are irrevocable even in instances of fraud.  The complaint describes that the Socialprofimatic.com website falsely represented that investors’ funds would be used to support social media marketing campaigns, that the invested funds would generate returns of 8% per day, and that investors could withdraw funds at any time.  Socialprofimatic.com received approximately $844,667 from investors, and then it shut down without warning after only 38 days of operation.  The complaint affidavit describes that Ginster used proceeds of this fraud for his own personal benefit.  

Ginster ran other similar investment websites during the fraud scheme time period, according to the complaint.  Those websites included MyMicroProfits.com, Automaticbitcome.com, eProfithub.io, and YourNetProfits.com.  As did Socialprofimatic.com, each website promised enormously high yields on investments and required individuals to invest only with cryptocurrencies.  Also like Socialprofimatic.com, the websites were short-lived, shutting down or ceasing to communicate with investors within weeks after taking in the investors’ cryptocurrency.  Lastly, as with Socialprofimatic.com, Ginster diverted investors’ funds to himself.

The cryptocurrency received from investors in the above five websites, including Socialprofimatic.com, was valued at the time at more than $5 million.  

Ginster is charged by a federal complaint with one count of wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, and six counts of engaging in monetary transactions to conceal or disguise (money laundering), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1)(B)(i).  Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  Both statutes carry a fine as well as mandatory restitution.  Any sentence following conviction, however, would be imposed by a judge only after its consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing sentencing, 18 USC § 3553. 

Charges contained in a criminal complaint are mere allegations.  As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The case is being prosecuted by the Corporate and Securities Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.  This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS-CI Washington D.C. Cyber Crimes Unit. 

The Los Angeles Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission also announced today the filing of a civil enforcement action against Ginster in the Central District of California.

If you believe you have been a victim of this fraud scheme, please contact IRS-Criminal Investigation at emsvictim@ci.irs.gov.  The criminal complaint in this matter can be viewed on PACER and by visiting the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
 

Updated November 18, 2021