Trial of individuals behind Zima Digital Assets gets postponed

Maria Nikolova

The start of the trial of John Michael Caruso and Zachary Salter is rescheduled for September 1, 2020.

Judge John J Tuchi of the Arizona District Court has agreed to postpone the start of the trial of John Michael Caruso (aka “Kryp+0 K!ng”) and Zachary Salter – the two individuals behind fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme Zima Digital Assets.

The trial was set to commence on April 7, 2020, but the defendants argued that the Indictment was recently returned and that there is considerable discovery to be provided and reviewed and that they could not be ready for trial by April 7, 2020.

On March 12, 2020, Judge John J Tuchi granted the Motion to Continue Trial. The trial is rescheduled from April 7, 2020 to September 1, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. as to both defendants.

John Michael Caruso, 28, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Zachary Salter, 27, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, were both arrested on January 30, 2020, and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

The Indictment in this criminal case alleges that Caruso and Salter operated Zima Digital Assets, a purported cryptocurrency investment fund, which, in reality, was a fraud. Caruso and Salter received more than $9 million from victims but the funds were not used for the purchase of cryptocurrency or other “blockchain based assets”. Instead, Caruso and Salter returned about $2 million of the deposits to early investors as purported investment profits. The rest of the money they spent on extravagant items, such as private jets, vacations, luxury car rentals, and casino gambling.

The Indictment enlists a raft of misrepresentations made by the duo behind Zima Digital Assets, including false statements in the contracts with the investors, as well as false claims in direct messages to investors.

If convicted of one or more of the offenses in the Indictment (that is, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering), the defendants will also have to forfeit all property derived from the offenses.

As FinanceFeeds has reported, Caruso entered plea of not guilty to all pending counts. Several days later, on March 4, 2020, arraignment as to Salter, a co-founder of Zima Digital Assets, was held at the Arizona District Court. Salter entered plea of NOT guilty to all pending counts.

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