CEO Of Cryptocurrency And Forex Trading Platform Pleads Guilty To Over $240 Million Scheme To Defraud Investors
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the guilty plea of EDDY ALEXANDRE, the leader of a purported cryptocurrency and foreign exchange (“forex”) trading platform called EminiFX, who solicited more than $248 million in investments from tens of thousands of individual investors after making false representations in connection with the EminiFX trading platform. U.S. District Judge John P. Cronan accepted the defendant’s guilty plea.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Eddy Alexandre admitted today to luring investors to his cryptocurrency investment scam by fabricating weekly returns of at least 5%. In reality, Alexandre failed to invest a substantial portion of this investors’ money and even used some funds for personal purchases. Alexandre’s scam caused investors to lose millions of dollars, and this case should serve as yet another warning to cryptocurrency executives that the Southern District of New York is closely watching and ready to prosecute any and all misconduct in the crypto markets.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment and other filings and statements made in court:
From in or about September 2021, up to and including in or about May 2022, ALEXANDRE operated EminiFX, Inc. (“EminiFX”), a purported investment platform that ALEXANDRE founded, and for which he solicited more than $248 million in investments from tens of thousands of individual investors. ALEXANDRE marketed EminiFX as an investment platform through which investors would earn passive income through automated investments in cryptocurrency and forex trading. ALEXANDRE offered his investors “guaranteed” high investment returns using new technology that he claimed was secret. Specifically, ALEXANDRE falsely represented to investors that they would double their money within five months of investing by earning at least 5% weekly returns on their investment using a “Robo-Advisor Assisted account” to conduct trading. ALEXANDRE referred to this technology as his “trade secret” and refused to tell investors what the technology was. Each week EminiFX’s website falsely represented to investors that they had earned at least 5% on their investment, which they could withdraw or re-invest.
In truth and in fact, and as ALEXANDRE well knew, EminiFX did not earn 5% weekly returns for its investors. ALEXANDRE did not even invest a substantial portion of the investor funds entrusted to him, and ALEXANDRE sustained millions of dollars in losses on the limited portion of funds that he did invest, which he did not disclose to his investors. Instead of using investors’ funds as he had promised, ALEXANDRE also misdirected at least approximately $14,700,000 to his personal bank account. For example, ALEXANDRE used $155,000 in investor funds to purchase a BMW car for himself and spent an additional $13,000 of investor funds on car payments, including to Mercedes Benz.
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ALEXANDRE, 50, of Valley Stream, New York, pled guilty to one count of commodities fraud and agreed to pay forfeiture in the amount of $248,829,276.73, as well as restitution in an amount to be specified by the Court. The offense of commodities fraud carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. Sentencing before Judge Cronan is scheduled for July 12, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.
Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also thanked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which brought a separate civil action.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Folly and Jared Lenow are in charge of the prosecution.