NY Court accepts guilty plea of ICO fraudster Maksim Zaslavskiy

Maria Nikolova

The New York Eastern District Court has formally accepted Zaslavskiy’s plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

The criminal proceedings targeting Maksim Zaslavskiy, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with two Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), continue at the New York Eastern District Court.

At the sentencing hearing held earlier in June, the Court found that the plea of guilty taken before magistrate Judge Reyes on November 15, 2018, was made knowingly and willfully. The Court formally accepted the plea of guilty to count two of the four count Superseding Indictment – conspiracy to commit securities fraud. A discussion was held and the sentencing was adjourned for August 12, 2019.

The charges against Zaslavskiy stem from a conspiracy to defraud investors and potential investors in connection with two initial coin offerings (ICOs) – Recoin and Diamond.

As he admitted at his guilty plea, Zaslavskiy fraudulently marketed RECoin as “The First Ever Cryptocurrency Backed by Real Estate,” and subsequently touted Diamond as an “exclusive and tokenized membership pool” hedged by diamonds. In fact, Zaslavskiy bought neither real estate nor diamonds, and the certificates he sent to investors were not backed by the promised blockchain technology.

Moreover, Zaslavskiy falsely advertised that REcoin had a “team of lawyers, professionals, brokers and accountants” who would invest the proceeds from the REcoin ICO into real estate, that 2.8 million REcoin tokens had been sold (only about 1,000 investors paid for REcoin tokens) and that the investment in Diamond tokens was “hedged by physical diamonds.”

The defendant and the US Government disagree on the appropriate sentence for Zaslavskiy. Whereas the defendant argues in favor of a sentence of probation, the US Government seeks a sentence of 30-37 months of imprisonment for Zaslavskiy.

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