Miami man sentenced to five and a half years in prison for running fraudulent cryptocurrency and stock investment scheme
MIAMI – A Miami man was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison for running a fraudulent cryptocurrency and stock investment scheme. The judge also ordered forfeiture in the amount of $988,895.85.
From June 2020 through March 2022, Ryan James Crawford, aka “Brody,” 30, tricked victims into investing almost $1 million in his scheme by: falsely claiming to be a highly successful licensed stockbroker who had made tens of millions of dollars through similar cryptocurrency and stock investments; falsely claiming to have access to enough money to timely repay potential investors; falsely claiming that he had developed an artificial intelligence trading software that “never lost,” and misrepresenting the investment as low-risk and high reward, among other things.
Crawford did not return any victim funds, or generate the exponential returns he promised. Rather, on some occasions, he simply diverted investors’ funds and cryptocurrency for his own personal use, including to pay for luxury rental cars and gambling at the casino.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI, Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Rafael Barros of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, and Interim Director Stephanie V. Daniels of the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), announced the sentence.
FBI Miami, USSS Miami, and MDPD’s Cyber Crimes Investigative Unit investigated the case, with assistance from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR). Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hauser prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Stone and Mitch Hyman handled asset forfeiture.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 23-cr-20100.
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida