A Nevada man has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for his role in a cryptocurrency scheme called CoinDeal. Bryan Lee, the Nevada resident, was charged for his involvement in defrauding investors through CoinDeal leader Neil Chandran’s companies.
The DOJ alleges that Lee conspired with Chandran to defraud investors. Lee was the nominee owner and director of ViMarket, a company that claimed to be developing VR and “metaverse” technologies and an associated cryptocurrency. Chandran promised “extremely high returns” to investors, while Lee followed his instructions and put investor funds into ViMarket’s bank accounts.
Misappropriation of Funds
The DOJ also alleges that Lee and Chandran spent millions of dollars worth of misappropriated funds on non-business expenses such as luxury cars and property.
Lee now faces up to 110 years in prison on various counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and engaging in monetary transactions on criminally derived property. While Lee has not yet been found guilty, he will make his first appearance in court immediately.
In June 2022, the DOJ separately announced charges against Chandran, who was also arrested at that time. The agency also stated that another conspirator, Michael Glaspie, pleaded guilty in February 2023, and will be sentenced in June. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also charged eight parties in connection to the CoinDeal scheme in January 2023. CoinDeal stole about $45 million from 10,000 victims in total.