A brother and sister who traveled the world as part of a lavish crypto lifestyle are now facing a reckoning at the hands of the United States criminal justice system.
In a new press release, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that John and JonAtina (Tina) Barksdale have been charged with stealing over $124 million from investors in a scheme involving the cryptocurrency Ormeus Coin (ORME).
The SEC alleges that the pair also scammed people via Ormeus Global, a multi-level marketing (MLM) business that offered subscription packages and crypto investment services.
The press release says,
“To preserve the fiction that Ormeus Coin was successfully mining crypto, the Barksdales arranged for a public website to display a wallet of an unrelated third party showing more than $190 million in assets as of November 2021, even though the Ormeus wallets were worth less than $500,000.”
John Barksdale has also been charged in a separate complaint by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in the State of New York.
According to Attorney Damian Williams,
“As alleged, John Barksdale perpetrated a scheme to sell the cryptocurrency Ormeus Coin to investors around the world through a web of lies, which he spread through in-person roadshows, social media, and even a jumbotron in Times Square.
Barksdale lied that Ormeus Coin was secured by a $250 million cryptocurrency mining operation that had revenues exceeding $5 million per month, when in fact Ormeus’s mining operations never approached such a value or had such revenues.”
The suit alleges that between 2017 Barksdale and a relative referred to as “CC-1” used a variety of in-person and online methods to entice would-be investors in their scheme, including whitepapers, webinars and social media posts.
They are said to have collected at least $70 million from over 8,000 victims.
Barksdale has been charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit both securities fraud and wire fraud. He faces years or even decades behind bars if convicted.
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