Las Vegas man charged in $45M metaverse crypto fraud scheme with 10K victims

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Published: May. 19, 2023 at 12:25 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Las Vegas man has been charged for his alleged participation in CoinDeal, an investment fraud scheme that defrauded more than 10,000 victims of over $45 million.

According to court documents, Bryan Lee, 57, will make his initial appearance in federal court today in Las Vegas. Lee allegedly conspired with Neil Chandran and others to defraud investors in companies that Chandran controlled.

The companies were supposedly developing virtual-world technologies, including their own cryptocurrency, for use in a metaverse. Chandran allegedly misled investors by falsely promising extremely high returns on the premise that his companies were about to be acquired by a consortium of wealthy buyers.

Lee and Chandran allegedly misappropriated millions of dollars of investor funds and spent it on luxury cars and real estate. Lee is charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, and three counts of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property. If convicted, Lee faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy counts, and up to 10 years in prison for each count of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.

Chandran was arrested in June 2022 and charged for his alleged role in the scheme. Michael Glaspie, who fraudulently marketed the investment with Chandran’s companies under the name “CoinDeal,” pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in February 2023 and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16.

The FBI Washington Field Office is investigating the case with significant assistance provided by the FBI Las Vegas and Omaha Field Offices.

All investor victims of this fraud are encouraged to visit the webpage www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/united-states-v-neil-chandran-united-states-v-michael-glaspie to identify themselves as potential victims and obtain more information on their rights as victims, including the opportunity to submit a victim impact statement.