An Australian crypto hedge-fund operator pleaded guilty Thursday to swindling investors out of more than $90 million in the United States.
Stefan Qin, 24, founder of Virgil Capital, was charged with a single count of securities fraud in Manhattan’s federal court, according to a US Department of Justice (DoJ) press release.
From 2017 to 2020, Qin operated two funds, Virgil Sigma Fund LP of New York and VQR Multistrategy Fund LP of the Cayman Islands, according to the DoJ, which alleges that he deceived investors and siphoned off about $90 million from the former to support a lavish lifestyle.
He also lied about the Sigma fund’s performance and where he put investors’ money, and tried to conceal his fraud by paying back Sigma investors with VQR funds.
The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Qin of fraud in December, alleging that he “fabricated records,” refused to let investors redeem $3.5 million, and attempted to withdraw $1.7 million in investor funds to pay off Chinese loan sharks.
“The whole house of cards has been revealed and Qin now awaits sentencing for his brazen thievery,” said US Attorney Audrey Strauss.