Ohio man charged with $10 million cryptocurrency fraud scheme

An Ohio man who was previously known to the federal government for allegedly defrauding investors, was charged by the Justice Department with defrauding investors of another $10 million dollars.

Rathnakishore Giri, a 27-year-old from New Albany, Ohio, has a history of investment fraud, the Justice Department alleged, and this scheme they say was no different.

Giri allegedly promised investors he could secure returns by investing their money in cryptocurrency, when in reality, DOJ says he couldn’t. He “fraudulently” promoted himself as an expert in cryptocurrency, according to the DOJ.

“In reality, as defendant Giri knew, he had a history of failing to fulfill such promises to investors,” an indictment unsealed on Friday in the Southern District of Ohio alleges. “Among other things, defendant Giri repeatedly failed to repay investors’ principal investments, having taken no steps to protect such principal.”

FILE PHOTO: Representations of virtual cryptocurrencies are placed on U.S. dollar banknotes in this illustration taken November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Dado Ruvic/Reuters

He lured investors to trust him with their money by “boasting about his own personal wealth and lavish lifestyle,” the Justice Department said.

Giri allegedly drove two Lamborghinis, a Tesla, and an Audi R8, wore high-end watches costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, flew on private jets and rented luxury homes.

“Instead of using all investor funds for cryptocurrency investments as promised, defendant Giri diverted certain investor funds to other purposes such as payment of his own personal expenses or repayment of principal or interest on erlier investments in a manner consistent with a Ponzi scheme,” the indictment says.

Giri is charged by indictment with five counts of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count.

An attorney for Giri did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

In August, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Giri with defrauding investors of $12 million.

The CFTC alleges Giri engaged in a similar practice, by claiming he was an expert in cryptocurrency, but in reality they say he was not.

Giri allegedly used that money to also pay for a luxury lifestyle which included yacht rentals, luxury vacations and luxury shopping.