Crypto Influencer ‘T.J. Stone’ Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

Crypto Influencer ‘T.J. Stone’ Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

Thomas John Sfraga, widely known in the cryptocurrency community as “T.J. Stone,” has pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in a Brooklyn federal court. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that Sfraga misled investors with promises of up to 60% returns within three months through a fictitious cryptocurrency digital wallet. Instead of delivering on these promises, Sfraga allegedly diverted the funds for personal use and to repay previous victims of his fraudulent schemes.

“For years, Sfraga brazenly lied to friends, neighbors, and investors to swindle over $1.3 million of their hard-earned life savings,” stated Breon Peace, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

In a bizarre twist, Sfraga also claimed ownership of “Vandelay Contracting Corp.” and “Build Strong Homes LLC,” companies named after a fictional business from the TV show “Seinfeld.” This reference was part of his strategy to lure investors into financing non-existent construction projects.

An FBI investigation revealed that Sfraga’s fraudulent activities extended into the realm of cryptocurrency staking, where digital assets are used to support a blockchain network, potentially yielding returns. According to a December 2023 FBI complaint, Sfraga falsely presented cryptocurrency staking as a risk-free investment, describing it as an “ironclad situation” with “no risk.”

Sfraga’s background spans real estate development, media relations, podcasting, and hosting cryptocurrency events in New York. Despite his diverse professional engagements, he now faces up to 20 years in prison and has been ordered to pay restitution of $1.33 million.

This case highlights the ongoing risks in the cryptocurrency space and the severe consequences of fraudulent activities within the industry.

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