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Crypto personality ‘T.J. Stone’ pleads guilty to wire fraud

crypto-personality-t-j-stone-pleads-guilty-to-wire-fraud
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Crypto personality ‘T.J. Stone’ pleads guilty to wire fraud

Thomas John Sfraga, known as “TJ Stone,” entered a guilty plea to wire fraud charges in a Brooklyn federal court on Thursday.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Sfraga was accused of deceiving investors with the promise of up to 60% returns within three months through a non-existent cryptocurrency digital wallet. Instead of fulfilling these promises, he allegedly diverted these funds for personal use and to placate previous victims of his fraudulent activities.

“For years, Sfraga brazenly lied to friends, neighbors, and investors to swindle over $1.3 million of their hard-earned life savings,” commented Breon Peace, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, on the case.

Throwback to ‘Seinfeld’

Additionally, Sfraga claimed ownership of “Vandelay Contracting Corp.” and “Build Strong Homes LLC,” companies with names reminiscent of a fictional business from the television show “Seinfeld.” This fictitious reference was part of his strategy to lure investors into funding non-existent construction projects.

An FBI investigation revealed that Sfraga’s fraudulent activities extended into cryptocurrency staking, a process where digital assets are used to support a blockchain network, offering potential returns through yields. According to a December 2023 FBI complaint, Sfraga misrepresented the risks involved in cryptocurrency staking to potential investors, claiming it was an “ironclad situation” with “no risk.”

Sfraga, whose background includes real estate development, media relations, podcasting, and hosting cryptocurrency events in New York, now faces up to 20 years in prison. He is also ordered to pay restitution amounting to $1.33 million.