Late last Friday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it had issued a $1.1 million fine to Joseph Kim, a resident of Phoenix Arizona, for fraud involving Bitcoin and Litecoin.
According to information released back in June by Herskovits Law, Kim was working for Consolidated Trading, a trading company based in Chicago, when he first committed fraud.
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Moved to a cryptocurrency trading team, Kim took over $3 million in Bitcoin and Litecoin, from both Consolidated Trading’s accounts and the company’s clients, in order to make up for losses he had incurred when trading in cryptocurrencies himself.
Though he actually managed to return over $2 million of that amount, Kim’s behaviour aroused the suspicion of his superiors. When confronted by them, he said that he had transferred Bitcoin and Litecoin to his accounts for security purposes.
CFTC fine, Illinois prison
When, eventually, his deeds were uncovered, Kim was apologetic.
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“I can’t believe I did not stop myself when I had the money to give back, and I will live with that for the rest of my life,” he said in an email sent to Consolidated Trading’s management team.
Though he was sorry for having taken the money, Kim then attempted to pay it back by lying to a bunch of other people. Having been fired from Consolidated Trading, he contacted a number of former clients and told them he had quit to set up a cryptocurrency trading firm.
Five of those clients gave him just over $500,000 to trade with. Sadly for Kim, cryptocurrency trading is a dangerous game and he lost – very quickly – all of the money that they had given him.
As a result, he will have to pay back all of the money his ‘clients’ gave him, as well as around $600,000 to Consolidated Trading. The CFTC has also placed a permanent trading and registration ban on Kim.
On top of this, Kim will be going to prison for 15 months following a criminal trial in the state of Illinois.
So you kids out there, if you don’t want to throw your life away like Kim, don’t steal cryptocurrency and, if you do, don’t then steal more cryptocurrency to try and pay off the people who you stole cryptocurrency from in the first place.