The Casablanca Court of Appeals ruled that the 21-year-old Frenchman – Thomas Clausi – will serve an 18-month prison sentence for orchestrating a crypto scheme. The defendant must compensate the victims of his scam and pay a fine of 3.4 million euros ($3.7 million) to customs authorities.
Crypto fraudsters have been quite inventive recently, draining significant sums from investors. Fortunately, law enforcement agencies have arrested and sent to jail some of them.
For example, Gilbert Armenta – the ex-lover of Ruja Ignatove (better known as the “Cryptoqueen”) – will go behind bars for five years after participating in the infamous OneCoin scam. Cooper Morgenthau – the former CFO of African Gold – was sentenced to three years after stealing $5 million from different SPACs to trade meme stocks.
Jail Time for the Frenchman, but There Is a Catch
As reported by Morocco World News, the Casablanca magistrates confirmed the 18-month sentence of the youngster. Trial proceedings against the defendant started a few years back when a Frenchwoman residing in Morocco sold him a Ferrari car for $440,000 worth of bitcoin. Local law considers the use of digital assets to be an illicit payment method.
Another individual claimed Clausi bought three luxury watches in exchange for a counterfeit check. The Casablanca Court ordered the man to refund the owner of the items for $4,000. It also ruled that the defendant must pay a penalty of $3.7 million to customs authorities.
Clausi’s lawyer – Mohamed Aghanaj – said his client has almost served his jail sentence since he’s been in a correctional facility since December 2021:
“He has one month and a few days left in prison.”
Despite the hostile stance from the Moroccan lawmakers, cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular in the region. The country’s central bank – Al-Maghrib – has previously displayed intentions to design a pertinent regulatory framework for the asset class to ensure maximum security for users.
Some of the Previous Sentences
The Southern District of New York (SDNY) Courthouse sentenced Gilbert Armenta – the former boyfriend of Ruja Ignatova – to serve five years in federal prison for laundering $300 million embezzled from OneCoin investors. Prosecutors claimed that Armenta used a portion of the funds to purchase a jet plane while gambling the remaining part.
As CryptoPotato recently reported, Cooper Morgenthau – ex-boss of African Gold – will also see the prison cell from the inside. He supposedly drained more than $5 million from three SPACs and used the money to trade equities and options of “meme stocks” and cryptocurrencies.
Speaking of crypto scammers and eventual jail sentences, one should mention the notorious Do Kwon (co-founder of Terraform Labs) and Sam Bankman-Fried (the former CEO of FTX).
According to numerous failed investors and agencies, both men have orchestrated multi-billion cryptocurrency frauds and deserve to go to prison. The authorities of Montenegro arrested Kwon in March after he was allegedly on the run for several months. He could be extradited to either the USA or South Korea in the near future, where a trial will determine whether he is guilty and his possible punishment.
Bankman-Fried currently resides at his parent’s house in California after serving a brief time in a Bahamian jail. His trial at the beginning of October will rule whether he had a hand in the gigantic FTX meltdown. Should he be proclaimed guilty, he could spend his life in prison.
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