Father and Son Face up to 20 Years in Jail for Orchestrating a $10M Crypto Scam (Report)

Father and Son Face up to 20 Years in Jail for Orchestrating a $10M Crypto Scam (Report)

The American authorities have reportedly arrested Brandon Austin and his father, Eugene “Hugh” Austin, over accusations that they run a massive crypto fraud, embezzling over $10 million from investors.

Brandon, who has already pleaded guilty, will hear his sentence on September 6.

Conning Investors to Fund a Lavish Lifestyle

According to recent coverage, federal agents detained the 27-year-old Brandon Austin in April and his dad on July 5. US Attorney Damian Williams said the duo “victimized both sophisticated and novice cryptocurrency investors alike out of millions.”

Specifically, the family encouraged people to purchase cryptocurrencies through them by promising great returns. However, they swindled every cent and used the money for their own benefit. 

The officials claimed the wrongdoers stayed in posh hotels, bought luxurious cars, and visited expensive restaurants. They also gifted funds to their loved ones via wire transfers. Brandon sent $50,000 to the mother of his children and $32,000 to his girlfriend, while Hugh handed $10,000 to his dad and lover. 

The duo went further, organizing glamorous trips to New York, Miami, and Europe, inviting investors as special guests who would later understand that those parties were thrown so the Austin family could amass new victims. 

Each investor parted with a different sum, with one losing over $500,000. At one point, they got angry with Hugh, urging him to keep his promise and send him the assets and return on the investment. The alleged criminal replied plainly:

“I w call u (sic) in about 25 minutes. Thanks, Hugh.”

Brandon has pleaded guilty, agreeing to forfeit $3.4 million and to pay $2 million in restitution. The federal agents also confiscated a 2022 E-Pace P250 Jaguar that was said to be worth over $60,000.

The two men face up to 20 years in prison on charges like money laundering and wire fraud. The magistrates are expected to decide Brandon’s punishment on September 6.

A Mini Version of OneCoin?

The aforementioned case looks similar to one of the biggest frauds in the history of crypto – OneCoin. The Ponzi scheme, orchestrated by Ruja Ignatova (a.k.a. “The Cryptoqueen”), ran between 2014 and 2016, draining approximately $4 billion from investors. 

The head of the scam mysteriously disappeared shortly after the authorities launched an investigation against OneCoin. Ignatova was last spotted in Athens, Greece, in 2017, and her whereabouts have been the subject of conspiracy theories from that moment.

Some believe she is hiding on a luxurious yacht in the Mediterranean Sea, away from the coast (where law enforcement agencies are unauthorized to arrest her).

Other sources have hinted that Ignatova might have been brutally murdered in 2019 after a Bulgarian drug lord got burned from investing in her scheme. 


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