Mocobizscene- A man from Philadelphia has been found guilty by a jury in Miami for participating in a $300 million securities price manipulation and wire fraud cryptocurrency conspiracy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Shane Hampton, a 32-year-old resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was found guilty by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida on Wednesday. He was convicted for engaging in fraudulent activities related to the purchase of Hydrogen Technology’s cryptocurrency, HYDRO, and manipulating its price.
Mr. Hampton, who held the position of head of financial engineering at Hydrogen Technology, was found guilty of orchestrating a scheme to manipulate the price of HYDRO, based on court documents and evidence presented at trial. The scheme lasted for several months.
Mr. Hampton and his co-conspirators engaged an external firm, Moonwalkers Trading Limited of South Africa, to operate an automated trading system, or “bot,” in order to manipulate the price of HYDRO on a cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Their strategy involved flooding the market with counterfeit and deceitful orders from October 2018 to April 2019.
According to reports, Mr. Hampton and his accomplices allegedly carried out around $7 million worth of “wash trades” and executed over $300 million in “spoof trades” using the bot for HYDRO. The intention behind these deceptive trades was to fraudulently manipulate retail investors into buying HYDRO, enabling Mr. Hampton and his associates to sell Hydrogen Technology’s HYDRO holdings for a profit of more than $1.5 million within a span of seven months.
Mr. Hampton has been found guilty by the jury of conspiring to commit securities price manipulation and conspiring to commit wire fraud. His sentencing is set for April 29th, and he could potentially face up to five years in prison for the securities price manipulation charge and up to 20 years for the wire fraud charge.
The determination of a sentence will be made by a federal district court judge, who will take into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
As part of the case, Mr. Hampton becomes the fourth defendant to be convicted. Michael Kane, the CEO of Hydrogen Technology from Miami, has pleaded guilty to the same charges and is currently awaiting sentencing. Similarly, Andrew Chorlian, an engineer at Hydrogen Technology from New York, has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities price manipulation and wire fraud and is now awaiting sentencing.
Tyler Ostern, the CEO of Moonwalkers Trading Limited based in Coos Bay, Oregon, has recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to securities price manipulation and wire fraud. As a result, he has been sentenced to serve two years in prison.
The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, and Assistant Director Michael D. Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.
The case was investigated by the FBI Miami Field Office, with the assistance of Eric Morales, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Andrew Jaco and Assistant Chief Scott Armstrong of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
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