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Arizona man sentenced for misusing $1.1 million in cryptocurrency

Posted: 2:56 PM, Nov 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-13 22:17:36Z

A man from Phoenix has been sentenced for misappropriating more than $1 million worth of cryptocurrencies, the first prosecution in Chicago of the cryptocurrency trading industry. 

Prosecutors say 24-year-old Joseph Kim worked as a trader at Consolidated Trading, LLC in Chicago, where he traded Bitcoin and Litecoin. Authorities say over two months in the fall of 2017 Kim transferred at least $600,000 worth of the firm's cryptocurrencies for his personal benefit.

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After he was fired, Kim allegedly lost $545,000 trading cryptocurrencies on behalf of at least five investors, including friends and friends of friends who invested retirement savings.

In May, Kim entered a guilty plea to one count of wire fraud. At Tuesday's hearing, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

"It is important that the public know that despite the complexity of cryptocurrency trading, the criminal justice system will hold traders and investment professionals accountable for cheating and stealing," Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sunil Harjani and Sheri Mecklenburg argued in the government's sentencing memorandum.

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