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New Albany man charged with wire fraud in $10M cryptocurrency scheme

Bitcoin is a digital currency — or cryptocurrency — that is not backed by any government or central bank.

The FBI and federal prosecutors are accusing a New Albany man of passing himself off as an expert cryptocurrency trader while defrauding investors of at least $10 million.

Authorities arrested Rathnakishore Giri, 27, on Nov. 18 after a grand jury indicted him on five counts of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He is set to be arraigned Dec. 2 in U.S. District Court in Columbus.

If convicted, Giri faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count.

The indictment alleges that beginning in August 2020, Giri misled investors to believe he was a highly successful specialist in trading bitcoin derivatives and falsely promised them that he would invest their money in cryptocurrency, make them a lot of money and repay their principal investment amount.

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