An El Paso man ran a $9 million Ponzi scheme under the guise of a cryptocurrency investment firm – sentenced to seven years in prison.

El Paso Police Department

How many more people must be victims of another crypto ponzi scheme, especially after Sam Bankman Fried was found guilty on all counts on November 2, 2023?

Court documents reveal that Abner Tinoco, 27, ran a Ponzi scheme out of his company, asking clients to invest millions of dollars under the pretence that he would put their money into cryptocurrencies and foreign exchange funds. Tinoco spent over half of the $9 million in investments that were placed into his business accounts on personal costs, such as jewelry, luxury vehicles, private planes, and real estate. By giving his clients a portion of the embezzled money as profits, Tinoco extended the fraud.

According to federal prosecutors, Tinoco deceived investors into parting with millions of dollars by pretending to be in charge of “customized client portfolios” that involved cryptocurrency and foreign exchange trading.

Tinoco, leased a Lamborghini given to a Beverly Hills diamond dealer in exchange for diamonds and two horses.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas claimed in a statement that Tinoco spent more than half of his more than $9 million in investments on personal costs, which included jewels, real estate, luxury cars, and chartered private aircraft. A portion of the money was fraudulently represented to his clients as “profits” as part of the Ponzi scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission obtained a civil consent decree against Tinoco and his company in a separate civil action, prohibiting trading activity. The goal of the Department of Justice is to secure compensation for the victims of Tinoco. The following year is set aside for a restitution hearing.

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