Las Vegas-based virtual payment company founder sentenced to 8 years

Las Vegas-based virtual payment company founder sentenced to 8 years

He used to buy a house, cars, jewelry, and other luxuries, but he was sentenced to eight years in prison for the founder of a virtual payment services company, which he said cheated dozens of investors out of $7.5 million.

From 2014 to 2017, the U.S. attorney's office in Boston said that Randall Crater, 52, founded the Las Vegas-based My Big Coin Pay Inc. in 2013 and offered virtual payment services through a fraudulent digital currency, My Big Coin.

Crater and associates he paid to promote the scheme, said the coins were a fully functioning digital currency backed by gold, that the company had a partnership with MasterCard, and that the currency could be exchanged for government-backed currency or other virtual currency, none of which was true, prosecutors said.

In January 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleged that My Big Coin was a fraud.

Crater's 55 victims had to delay retirement, lost tuition money and suffered other financial hardships, Joseph Bonavolonta, head of the FBI's Boston office, said in a statement.

Randall Crater defrauded dozens of victims out of more than $7.5 million, convincing them that their investments in cryptocurrencies were backed by gold when in reality their hard-earned money went to funding his lavish lifestyle, he said.

A federal jury convicted Crater in July of being guilty of wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions, and operating an unlicensed money transfer business.

In addition to eight years and four months behind bars, Crater, of Lake Mary, Florida, was sentenced to three years of probation, ordered to forfeit more than $7.5 million, and pay restitution of an amount to be determined.