Court dashes another attempt by ‘crypto king’ John Michael Caruso to have his detention reconsidered

Maria Nikolova

Judge John Tuchi agreed with a previous ruling that John Michael Caruso, an operator of fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme Zima Digital Assets, has to stay detained.

John Michael Caruso, also known as Kryp+0 K!ng or “crypto king”, has suffered another bitter blow in Court as he has failed to secure reconsideration of his detention proceedings.

As FinanceFeeds has reported, Caruso, who is one of the individuals behind fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme Zima Digital Assets, had had his earlier motion to reopen the detention proceedings axed by Judge Michelle H. Burns.

Judge Burns denied the Emergency Motion on April 8, 2020. She expressly did not consider extraneous information beyond the Section 3142(f) criteria. First, Judge Burns concluded that the increase in bondable amount did not change her previous conclusion that such bond was insufficient to address danger and flight risk. Second, Judge Burns concluded that the defendant’s information on increased COVID-19 activity did not materially bear on the question of whether conditions would reasonably assure the defendant’s presence at future proceedings.

The Honorable John Tuchi noted Caruso’s motion to review Judge Burns’ decision. In an order signed on May 13, 2020, Judge Tuchi sided with Judge Burns.

He says that none of the newly provided information has any relevance to the Court’s weighing of what is required under Section 3142(f) – it does not impact whether any conditions of release will reasonably ensure Caruso’s future appearance. The consequences of COVID-19 simply do not bear on that question. Put another way, if Judge Burns has determined by at least a preponderance that the defendant represents a flight risk that no conditions will cure, the introduction of an illness and its potential impact on the defendant does not change that risk or the ability of conditions to cure it. “The two issues are apples and oranges”, Judge Tuchi concluded.

Caruso is charged by criminal complaint with one count of Conspiracy to Commit the crimes of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering. In the complaint, he is charged with carrying out a Ponzi “cryptocurrency” scheme that defrauded over 100 victims of at least $7.5 million.

The offense is alleged to have been committed in a relatively short period of time, since June 2018. During this time, it is alleged by the Government that bank records and casino records establish that Caruso lived an extravagant lifestyle, to include taking 30 trips to Las Vegas. He has flown on private jets to numerous domestic and overseas destinations.

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