When Hollywood actors are supporting a crypto fund, of course, you’re gonna go and invest in it! What could possibly go wrong? Well sadly for 500 people, it did go wrong, about “$11 million down the drain” wrong….
In the world of cryptocurrency, scams are as common as the real deal and many people have lost their money after falling into the scammers’ traps. The same happened with Start Options, an online investment platform providing cryptocurrency mining and trading. In 2017, they started looking for investors and claimed that they ran giant crypto-mining farms in China and promised the people that they’d get about 25-200% returns within just two months. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. The firm also provided false statements to the investors showing their money was growing. This was all run by Kristijan Krstic under the alias of Felix Logan and John DeMarr, a private investigator who served as the frontman.
Many investors started noticing that something wasn’t quite right and when they demanded their money back, they were given false reassurance that their funds were being transferred to a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G) with 8000 times the return. The famous actor and martial artist, Steven Seagal was promoting this company so of course, people thought it was a good deal. (it wasn’t)
Shortly after in March 2018, Logan and Seagal announced their departure from the company. But it doesn’t end here. Conveniently right about that time, Logan completely disappeared with about $7 million in his accounts. Meanwhile, DeMarr made another false claim that the company had been acquired by Russian venture funds. The twist in the story doesn’t end here. The company then claimed that DeMarr had been assaulted in Montenegro and had disappeared as well while no one knows about what happened to the other $4 million dollars.
The U.S Department of Justice has issued an announcement that DeMarr (who btw was just laying low in his house and wasn’t actually kidnapped or assaulted) faces up to five years in prison while Krstic and 15 others face a broader criminal indictment. Seagal is also facing charges for not disclosing that he was the spokesperson for the shady firm.