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CFTC Charges New Yorker William Ichioka Over $21 Million Crypto Ponzi

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • William Ichioka charged by CFTC, SEC, and USAO for running crypto Ponzi scheme; owes $21M to investors.
  • Ichioka Ventures promised 10% returns in 30 days, used new investors' funds to pay existing ones.
  • Ichioka funded personal expenses, bought luxury items with investors' money; pleaded guilty to charges.
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New York-based William Ichioka has been charged by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California (USAO) for running a crypto Ponzi scheme.

A Ponzi scheme is a financial fraud wherein the fraudsters use the funds of new investors to pay existing customers. With such activities, there is an illusion of profit, whereas the firm might not have been generating actual profits.

Ichioka Pleads Guilty

On Friday, regulators such as CFTC and the SEC filed complaints against the 30-year-old William Ichioka for running a crypto Ponzi scheme.

Lastly, the Department of Justice’s press release shows that Ichioka pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and other charges shown in the image below:

Ichioka pleaded guilty to charges for running a crypto ponzi scheme
Source: DOJ Press release

The New York resident owes over $21 million to non-family investors and over $40 million to his family members. Ichioka ran a Ponzi scheme, called Ichioka Ventures, which promised 10% returns within 30 days.

According to CFTC, Ichioka Ventures pooled funds from over 100 individual investors and firms to trade crypto and forex. To assure investors about the returns, Ichioka used to pay some of the customers through the funds of other customers. Moreover, he also prepared fake documents to show profits.

Read our beginner-friendly guide to forex trading here.

According to filings, Ichioka funded his day-to-day expenses with investors’ money and purchased luxury items such as vehicles, watches, and jewelry. 

In March, another fraud, AirBit Club, pleaded guilty to running a $100 million crypto Ponzi scheme. AirBit Club claimed to operate a cryptocurrency mining and trading business but was using victims’ money to create an illusion of profit.

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya excels in delivering SEO-optimized crypto news under tight deadlines. Previously, as a Growth Marketer at Sporty and a Community Consultant at Totality Corp, he significantly boosted community engagement and followers. Harsh also crafted engaging content for top crypto influencer Shivam Chhuneja, blending meme references for an educational yet fun experience. His versatile skills make him a notable figure in crypto journalism.