A former New York Stock Exchange broker has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging involvement in a crypto trading scheme that defrauded over a hundred investors.
- Michael Ackerman was the chief trading officer at Q3 – an investment club that told investors it used a proprietary algorithm that guaranteed returns trading cryptocurrencies.
- Along with two other founders, Ackerman is accused of inducing around 150 investors, many of them physicians, to transfer a total of $33 million supposedly for trading crypto and making returns of up to 20% a month.
- Evidence from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows Ackerman extracted a total of $7.5 million from Q3 between 2018 and 2019 – most of which was spent jewellery, cars, personal security, and an extensive house renovation.
- Per evidence submitted by the Department of Homeland Security, Ackerman assured investors Q3 had more than $315 million in assets when in reality it had just half a million left.
- The SEC, Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the attorney for the Southern District of New York filed charges against Ackerman in February.
- He stands accused of one count of wire fraud and if found guilty he could be fined up to $250,000 and face up to 20 years in prison.
- Ackerman reportedly spent 16 years as an institutional broker at the New York Stock Exchange.
- He entered his not guilty plea at the U.S. Southern District Court of New York on August 4.
Read the not guilty plea in full below: