Move over Bernie Madoff. There’s a new financial scammer in town! At the young age of just 19, one prodigy fraudster pretty much started a bitcoin Ponzi scheme, got rich, and is now going to jail for stealing from investors. You love to see kids follow their dreams!
This kid found his passion and set his sights on being the best! Too bad he was so passionate about getting rich by committing financial fraud.
Math-whiz prodigy turned convicted financial criminal Stefan Qin was just 19 when he claimed to have built an algorithm that could effectively monitor cryptocurrency markets. Qin claimed that his company’s algorithm could monitor cryptocurrency exchanges around the world to take advantage of price fluctuations. He bragged to potential investors that he could get as much as a 500% return on cryptocurrency investments.
In reality, federal prosecutors said the entire crypto operation was a lie. Qin essentially built a Ponzi scheme that stole about $90 million from more than 100 investors to help pay for his lavish lifestyle and personal investments. At one point, Qin became so flush with cash that he was able to sign a lease in for a $23,000-a-month apartment in Manhattan.
Some teenagers skateboard, others commit securities fraud and live in a luxury apartment. Either way it’s great when teens show initiative like this.
He got rich stealing $90 million?!
Eventually, Qin’s clients came asking for their investments back when he failed to get the high returns he promised. Qin was able to hold off his clients by blaming “poor cash flow management” and “loan sharks in China” for his troubles.
Feds inevitably caught wind of the stinky crypto pyramid scheme and began investigating. Last week Qin, who is now 24, expressed his remorse and plead guilty in federal court to one count of securities fraud. What was once a financial project started by a teenage who loved math, will end in a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
When news broke that the one-time financial wiz kid had plead guilty, folks invested in the cryptocurrency world did not hold back their thoughts.
Usually kids his age have no idea what they are going to do with their lives. This kid knew exactly what he wanted to do, and now he’s going to jail for it!
What are the chances that there are other similar crypto scam operations out there? Pretty likely. According to Yahoo Finance, “a number of the 800 or so crypto funds worldwide are run by people with no knowledge of Wall Street or finance.” While it’s possible that some of the crypto funds are legit, just make sure you are being careful with your investments.
Just be careful out there, fam. If a teenager comes to you saying they can get you a 500% return, it’s very likely bullshit. No investment is ever that solid.
Don’t be fooled by how cool teenagers are. You can take that advice to the bank.