Crypto Hedge Fund Founder Pleads Guilty to $90M Fraud

Cryptocurrency hedge fund founder Stefan Qin pleaded guilty Thursday to deceiving investors out of more than $90 million.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday, Qin, a 24-year-old Australian national and founder of Virgil Capital, had been charged with a single count of securities fraud in Manhattan’s federal court.

Between 2017 and 2020, Qin operated two funds, Virgil Sigma Fund LP of New York and VQR Multistrategy Fund LP of the Cayman Islands. During that time Qin lied to investors and siphoned off the roughly $90 million from Sigma to fund a lavish lifestyle, per the release.

He further lied about the performance of the Sigma fund and the whereabouts of investors’ money, as well as attempting to cover his fraud by paying back Sigma investors by dipping into VQR funds.

The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Qin over the fraud in December, saying the man had “fabricated records,” failed to allow investors redeem $3.5 million and tried 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 U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.

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