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Press Release

Suburban man convicted of Bitstamp cryptocurrency fraud scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 37-year-old Sugarland resident has pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain and launder more than $500,000, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Xiaofei Chen admitted he arranged a fraudulent wire of $520,000 from the victims checking account. Chen opened a Bitstamp cryptocurrency exchange account using the victim’s name and driver’s license without the consent or knowledge of the victim.

Chen used the Bitstamp account and other cryptocurrency accounts to convert the proceeds into Bitcoin and laundered the Bitcoin through numerous transactions.   

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett accepted the plea and has set sentencing for Jan. 18, 2024. At that time, Chen faces a mandatory of two years in prison.

Chen was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christian Latham and Belinda Beek are prosecuting the case.

Updated October 12, 2023

Financial Fraud