Two Promoters of IcomTech Crypto ‘Ponzi’ Found Guilty by New York Jury

Two Promoters of IcomTech Crypto ‘Ponzi’ Found Guilty by New York Jury

Cryptocurrency
March 18, 2024 by Diana Ambolis
152
David Brend and Gustavo Rodriguez Convicted of Wire Fraud Conspiracy for Their Roles in Promoting and Operating the Collapsed Fake Crypto Mining and Trading Scheme A New York jury has delivered guilty verdicts against two former promoters of the alleged crypto mining and trading company IcomTech for their involvement in a wire fraud conspiracy. David
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David Brend and Gustavo Rodriguez Convicted of Wire Fraud Conspiracy for Their Roles in Promoting and Operating the Collapsed Fake Crypto Mining and Trading Scheme

A New York jury has delivered guilty verdicts against two former promoters of the alleged crypto mining and trading company IcomTech for their involvement in a wire fraud conspiracy. David Brend and Gustavo Rodriguez now face a maximum sentence of 20 years each for their roles in the Ponzi scheme.

The verdict, reached on March 14 after a two-week trial in a New York District Court, concluded that Brend and Rodriguez conspired to commit wire fraud. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, David Carmona, the founder of IcomTech, hired Rodriguez in mid-2018 to develop a website for the company, which purported to engage in crypto mining and trading activities, promising investors guaranteed daily returns.

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However, prosecutors revealed that IcomTech was not involved in actual crypto trading or mining; instead, it operated as a Ponzi scheme, using funds from new investors to pay returns to existing ones. Rodriguez was also responsible for determining the pricing of investment packages and fabricating daily returns, which investors could view through the website and a portal he managed.

Meanwhile, Brend and other promoters of the scheme diverted significant amounts of investor funds for personal use, including purchasing real estate, traveling, and hosting extravagant events to attract more investors with promises of financial gain.

Although investors saw their purported profits increase in the online portal, they were unable to withdraw funds and faced excuses, delays, and hidden fees when attempting to do so. To further deceive investors, IcomTech introduced a token called “Icoms,” falsely claiming it would be accepted as payment by various companies. However, these tokens were essentially worthless, leading to additional losses for investors when IcomTech collapsed in 2019 and ceased making payments.

According to Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the scheme defrauded tens of thousands of people out of tens of millions of dollars, victimizing hardworking individuals. As a consequence of their actions, Brend and Rodriguez have been convicted of a federal crime and face significant prison time.

Brend is scheduled to be sentenced on June 27, while Rodriguez’s sentencing is set for the following day, June 28. This development follows the earlier sentencing of IcomTech’s former CEO, Marco Ochoa, to five years in prison in January, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to wire fraud conspiracy. Additionally, IcomTech’s founder, Carmona, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy in December.