Bitcoin thefts have become a lot more apparent in recent years. Scammers from all over the world are drawn to cryptocurrency these days. One alleged scammer goes by the name of Jerry Ji Guo. He currently faces a potential jail sentence of 20 years. This is primarily because of his involvement in a multimillion-dollar theft as an ICO expert.
The Story of Jerry Ji Guo
Most people may not be familiar with the name of Jerry Ji Guo. He is a former New York Times journalist and an alleged con man. It is believed he is involved in emptying the pockets of numerous startups In doing so, Ji Guo collected roughly $3.5 million from his victims. This ultimately led to his arrest in early November.
The charges against Jerry Ji Guo are quite severe. Not only is he facing wire fraud charges, but there is also the Bitcoin theft. At one point. Ji Guo was hired as a consultant for multiple cryptocurrency companies. He eventually got involved in initial coin offerings. That particular industry has seen a fair share of scam projects.
On social media, one can easily find so-called ICO experts. The name of Jerry Ji Guo showed up in these lists for some time. All of his clients pay an upfront fee for services rendered. This ultimately allowed him to steal $3,5 million in Bitcoin and Ethereum from multiple cryptocurrency wallets. This type of activity needs to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible.
The Wild West of Cryptocurrency
Ji Guo’s main offense in the ICO industry includes not doing any work as promised. The theft of the currency occurred at a much later stage. It is unclear why he was able to access these wallets in the first place. It also appears none of the wallets are protected by requiring multiple signatures prior to sending funds. Multisignature wallets offer more control and security, as they also prevent funds from being misappropriated.
One of the projects Guo was involved in is Polymath. The company is still around, as they raised $100m during their initial coin offering. However, the team also ended the relationship with Guo because of his unwillingness to contribute to the project. This may have been a wise decision on behalf of the team, given Guo’s track record.
Incidents like these also highlight the lack of regulation in the ICO industry. Companies can raise millions of dollars without adhering to rules or laws. This causes a fair bit of friction, especially when theft or fraud occurs. Solving those problems is not straightforward either. There is no standardized recourse to deal with such situations. For Guo, he will face an eight-court indictment and faces up to 20 years in jail. His sentencing will be handed down in the coming weeks.
Do you thnk that Jerry Ji Guo will be found guilty? Does the sentence fit the crime? Let us know in the comments below.
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