Former CFO indicted for diverting $35M to cryptocurrency enterprise

Nevin Shetty, a former Chief Monetary Officer (CFO) at a Seattle start-up firm, was indicted on Could 17 within the U.S. District Courtroom in Seattle on fees of wire fraud. 

The indictment alleges that Shetty, 39, diverted roughly $35 million from the start-up firm’s coffers to a cryptocurrency platform underneath his private management. Shetty reportedly established this platform, often known as HighTower Treasury, in February 2022, shortly earlier than being notified of his impending departure as CFO as a result of issues concerning his efficiency. 

Throughout the interval from April 1 to April 12, 2022, Shetty allegedly transferred a considerable quantity of $35,000,100 from his employers to an account linked to HighTower, with out the data of some other people inside the firm. The alleged objective behind this transaction was for HighTower to allocate the funds in direction of investments inside the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector of the cryptocurrency market. This association entailed Shetty’s firm to obtain a 6% rate of interest, whereas the remaining curiosity can be retained by HighTower, doubtlessly yielding appreciable earnings.  

Prosecutors say that the worth of Shetty’s cryptocurrency investments started to say no quickly, and by Could 13, 2022, the $35 million funding had primarily change into nugatory. Upon discovering the embezzlement, the start-up firm promptly reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), triggering an investigation into the matter. If convicted of wire fraud, Shetty may face a most sentence of 20 years in jail. He’s anticipated to be arraigned on Could 25, 2023.

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In an identical case, Cooper Morgenthau, the previous CFO of African Gold Acquisition Company (AGAC), was sentenced to 3 years in jail for embezzling over $5 million from a number of particular objective acquisition firms (SPACs). Between June 2021 and August 2022, Morgenthau wired round $1.2 million to his private accounts and used the cash to commerce cryptocurrencies and “meme shares,” leading to vital losses.

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