Volantis’ Director Pleads Guilty in Multimillion-dollar Bitcoin Escrow Scam

$3m Bitcoin escrow fraud

October 3, 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jon Thompson the owner of Volantis Escrow Network LLC and Volantis Marketing LLC, has admitted to having committed a multimillion-dollar crypto fraud. Besides, having settled a recent $7.4 million in a parallel commodities fraud charge.

In the first instance, the defendant pleaded guilty before Manhattan federal district court for failing to complete $3.25 million bitcoin transaction to unnamed customers back in 2018.

In July 2020, the Department of Justice in the US also charged Thompson with wire fraud and product theft worth $7 million from customers and offering to supply them with Bitcoin, which he did not send.

Southern District of New York’s prosecutors filed charges against two people who reportedly defrauded $3 million of the “principal” of Bitcoin Volantis Escrow in June 2018. Thompson had told the corporation that Volantis would serve as an escrow and that the money of the corporation would be secure but it ended up being a scam.

The undisclosed organization sent Thompson $3.25 million to purchase Bitcoin on the assumption — perpetuated by Thompson — that Volantis will serve as an escrow account. That is, it will take dollars from one party, bitcoin from the other, and refund the required sums to each party after certain transactions have been resolved. A promise that has not happened until to date.

In mid-September this year, Mr Thompson had settled similar crime brought forward by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It was an issued consent order that allowed him to pay $7.4 million in damages to two investors, indefinitely ban him from bitcoin dealing and compels him to cooperate with the CFTC for potential future prosecution on illegal bitcoin dealing.

Thompson has confessed to distorting the care, regulation, buying activities and disclosure of his company’s bitcoin in order to protect the customer’s assets. He claimed to have wired cash to a third party before receiving bitcoin as agreed with the consumer.

However, the so-called bitcoin transaction has never materialized, and the customer’s money has never been recovered. Thompson could serve a potential jail sentence of 10 years. His probation is set for January 7, 2021.

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