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FBI charges Manhattan man with running $43m crypto Ponzi scheme

The FBI has uncovered a multi-year Ponzi scheme defrauding investors of $43 million, linked to crypto trading, with an individual now facing wire fraud charges.

A Manhattan resident, Idin Dalpour, is accused by the FBI of orchestrating a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme involving crypto, allegedly duping investors out of more than $43 million.

In a press release on May 1, the Department of Justice said that Dalpour purportedly enticed investors with promises of “huge returns” through investments in a Las Vegas hospitality business and a crypto trading operation.

Allegedly, these promises were false, and Dalpour operated a classic Ponzi scheme, the FBI says, adding that Dalpour used investors’ funds to pay earlier investors while spending the rest on himself, including gambling losses totaling approximately $1.7 million and private school tuition for his children.

“As alleged, Dalpour’s promises were a mirage, and he was running a classic Ponzi scheme by paying investors purported returns with other investors’ money.”

U.S. attorney Damian Williams

The accusations indicate that Dalpour had been operating the Ponzi scheme since 2020, targeting victims domestically and internationally. The indictment claims he fabricated contracts and bank records to entice investors, offering annual returns of up to 42%.

He allegedly diverted investors’ funds for personal use rather than investing in the promised ventures. Dalpour also reportedly misled investors by claiming their funds were insured and secure. If convicted, Dalpour faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud.

In mid-March, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against 17 individuals implicated in a $300 million Ponzi scheme, targeting predominantly Latino investors in the U.S. and two other nations. The scheme allegedly targeted over 40,000 investors across 10 states and two foreign countries with promises of substantial wealth through “risk-free” and “guaranteed” crypto and foreign exchange investments.

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