Co-Founder Of Global Multimillion-Dollar Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme “AirBit Club” Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Christie M. Curtis, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging JOSEPH MALVASIO and GREGG MARCUS, a/k/a “Gregg Pierce,” with running a years-long advance-fee scheme through which they defrauded hundreds of victims of at least approximately $12 million. MALVASIO and MARCUS were arrested this morning will be presented later today in the Southern District of New York.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Joseph Malvasio and Gregg Marcus perpetrated an advance-fee scheme whose victims were defrauded into paying millions of dollars for loans they needed but never received. Instead of keeping their promises to the victims, Malvasio and Marcus allegedly used the victims’ money to fund their lavish lifestyles.”
FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Christie M. Curtis said: "The defendants are alleged to have operated a fraudulent loan scheme where they collected fees from victims, however, had no intention of providing such loans. The fees were then used to fund luxury personal expenses. Ensuring that financial fraudsters are held accountable in the criminal justice system remains a top priority of the FBI."
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment:
From at least in or about March 2017 through at least in or about August 2023, JOSEPH MALVASIO and GREGG MARCUS operated an advance-fee scheme that defrauded hundreds of victims of at least approximately $12 million. MALVASIO and MARCUS operated this fraudulent scheme through their ownership and operation of a business called Global Capital Partners Fund LLC (“GCPF”). MALVASIO and MARCUS falsely represented that GCPF was a legitimate business that would provide loans to individuals who were interested in funding for private commercial projects. Instead, MALVASIO and MARCUS defrauded victims, collecting thousands of dollars in fees from each victim without intending to issue a loan.
MALVASIO and MARCUS typically collected several fees from each victim, including a “letter of intent” fee, a “commitment” fee, and an “appraisal” fee. Each fee ranged from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Once MALVASIO and MARCUS collected these fees, they informed each victim that he or she would not receive a loan and then refused to refund any of the fees each victim had paid.
Once MALVASIO and MARCUS received money from victims, they transferred the funds to their personal accounts and used them to make payments in the tens of thousands of dollars to Porsche, BMW, and Modern Yachts LLC, among other dealers of luxury goods. MALVASIO and MARCUS also used victim funds to make payments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal credit card expenses.
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MALVASIO, 65, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Bridgehampton, New York, and MARCUS, 57, of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida, are each charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The maximum potential penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jackie Delligatti is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.