New Orleans man admits to defrauding customers through bitcoin sales

Local News

NEW ORLEANS. La (BRPROUD)- New Orleans resident, Michael Yusko, III, 46, pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business on August 10.

According to court documents, federal agents began receiveng complaints back in May of 2018 about Yusko selling bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to customers but failing to follow through on transactions. He promised customers any amount of bitcoin in exchange for U.S. currency at 5 percent above market value with a 5 percent fee.

He instructed customers to deposit U.S. dollars into one of several business bank accounts such as Nervous Light Capital LLC, Ready Demolition LLC, Patriot Concrete Pumping, LLC, Praetorian Energy, LLC, and Hudson Oak Partners LLC.

Yusko instructed his clients to not tell any bank employees that the purpose of the wire transfer was to purchase cryptocurrency because banks have previously shut down Yusko’s accounts for this reason. Court documents show customers communicated with Yusko and paid him tens of thousands of dollars for bitcoin.

Yusko admitted to being responsible for $201,399.00 in losses to his customers. He faces a maximum of 5 years in prison, a maximum of $250,000 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment.

His sentencing is scheduled for November 4, 2021.

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