June 16, 2024

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A Manhattan citizen, Idin Dalpour, has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The charges? Operating an intricate multi-year Ponzi scam.

Dalpour, aged 39, allegedly defrauded his investors of approximately $43 million. The unsealed indictment from South District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s Office states that he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Details of the Multi-Year Crypto Fraud

The U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, along with James Smith, the Head of the New York Field Office of the FBI, charged Idin Dalpour on May 1. According to them, Dalpour fraudulently offered deceptive investment opportunities in a phony Las Vegas hospitality business and a cryptocurrency trading project.

Dalpour lured investors with attractive yearly returns. However, Williams alleges that these promises were an illusion. Dalpour was actually running a typical Ponzi scheme, paying investors’ returns by using new investors’ money.

The indictment also revealed Dalpour’s grand lifestyle, funded by his investors. He reportedly used $1.7 million to cover personal gambling debts and spent investor funds on his children’s private school tuition.

Between 2020 and 2024, Dalpour enticed his investors into his scam by forging contracts, creating fake bank statements, and sending fake emails. He claimed to have partnerships with a Las Vegas hotel and various sports stadiums.

Dalpour further claimed that he bought cryptocurrencies in bulk and then sold them for profit to individual investors. He tricked his investors into believing they would receive yearly returns starting at 42%, under the assurance that their investments were secured through insurance and escrow arrangements.

James Smith, Assistant FBI Director, declared:

“Dalpour’s arrest today showcases the FBI’s commitment to preserving economic justice and protecting individuals from becoming victims.”

The FBI report states that Dalpour’s Ponzi scam met its downfall in November 2023 when a group of victims confronted him. It was then that Dalpour confessed, saying, “What you already have, you have. You can put me in jail now. Like right now.”

Dalpour has been charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to the investors. The operator generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors.

What is the charge against Idin Dalpour?

Idin Dalpour is charged with one count of wire fraud, for allegedly orchestrating a multi-year cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. The indictment reveals he defrauded his investors of at least $43 million.

How was the Ponzi scheme operated?

Idin Dalpour allegedly lured investors with promises of high annual returns from a fake Las Vegas hospitality business and a cryptocurrency trading operation. He used new investors’ money to pay returns to the older ones. He also provided falsified contracts, bank statements, and emails to deceive his investors.