Ex-Trader Ackerman Ordered to Pay $54 Million Fine for Crypto Fraud

The former New York Stock Exchange broker Micahel Ackerman has been ordered to pay $54 million in penalties by a federal court for running a crypto fraud, as per a from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

A judge at the Southern District of New York court has banned Ackerman from trading in any markets supervised by the financial watchdog, CFTC revealed. 

The former NYSE broker was charged in 2020 for defrauding nearly 150 investors and raising $33 million on the false promises of high returns. 

After pleading not guilty initially for operating a fraud, he later changed his plea in September 2021. 

The financial watchdog announced that the final order signed on June 13 closes the CFTC enforcement case against Ackerman. 

Ackerman to Pay $54 Million In Penalties

As per the CFTC announcement, Ackerman is required to pay $27 million in restitution to defrauded victims and a $27 million civil monetary penalty in connection with running a . 

Between August 2017 to December 2019, the former NYSE broker scammed investors through his company Q3 Holdings. The firm promised investors 15% monthly returns on their investments. 

Ackerman’s firm promised to deliver those returns through its proprietary trading algorithm by trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

As per CFTC, the former NYSE broker raised at least $33 million from over 150 investors. 

Ackerman Presented False Accounting Details To Investors

The CFTC further revealed that Ackerman presented false screenshots and accounting statements to mislead the investors about the reality of the fund’s portfolio. 

The manufactured information was later passed on by Ackerman’s partners, former Wells Fargo Advisors employee James Seijas and Florida general surgeon Quan Tran.

Seijas and Tran were misled too as they were not aware of the fund’s actual asset values versus what the former NYSE broker had told them.

Contrary to what Ackerman told investors, only $10 million of the money raised was actually invested.

Ackerman illegally used the money for personal gain in luxurious items including cars, jewelry, and a $3 million Florida beach house. 

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