Serbian Man Extradited to Face Charges in Coordinated Crypto and Binary Options Schemes

Extradition of Serbian Man to Face U.S. Charges

A Serbian man has been extradited to the United States to answer for his alleged involvement in cryptocurrency and binary options schemes. Kristijan Krstic, 48, was arrested in Batumi, Georgia, in February and subsequently extradited to the United States.

He now faces charges in two separate federal indictments, one in the Northern District of Texas and another in the Eastern District of New York.

Arrival in the Northern District of Texas

Krstic arrived in the Northern District of Texas and made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Here, he will address the charges from the Northern District before being transferred to the Eastern District of New York for additional charges.

Justice Department’s Commitment to Combatting Transnational Crime

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division emphasized the role of international cooperation in combating transnational organized crime.

The Justice Department and Georgian law enforcement partners worked together to facilitate Krstic’s extradition.

Northern District of Texas Indictment

In March 2020, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Texas indicted Krstic for his involvement in defrauding investors worldwide of over $70 million through fraudulent cryptocurrency and binary options platforms.

He and several co-conspirators were also indicted on charges of wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy in a superseding indictment in July 2020.

The FBI’s Pursuit of Cyber-Criminals

U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton for the Northern District of Texas emphasized the Department of Justice’s commitment to bringing cyber-criminals, including those who exploit cryptocurrency and other cyber investment platforms, to justice.

The Northern District of Texas, in collaboration with law enforcement partners, is dedicated to holding cyber-criminals accountable, regardless of their location.

Multiple Fraudulent Investment Platforms

Court documents reveal that Krstic and his associates allegedly established more than 20 fraudulent cryptocurrency and binary options investment platforms, including names like Start Options, Trinity Mining, and Hedger Tech.

These platforms purported to offer various investment opportunities, leading to substantial financial losses for investors.

Eastern District of New York Indictment

In February 2021, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York indicted Krstic for his involvement in a cryptocurrency scheme.

The indictment alleges that Krstic solicited U.S. investors using fraudulent online investment platforms, including Start Options and B2G. Krstic’s activities spanned from approximately 2017 to 2018 and included the fraudulent sale of securities in the form of investment contracts.

IRS and FBI’s Role in Pursuit of Justice

Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher of the IRS Criminal Investigation highlighted Krstic’s use of cryptocurrency to deceive unsuspecting investors.

The IRS-CI worked tirelessly to bring Krstic to justice, with Krstic accused of stealing $7 million in investor funds.

Serious Charges in Both Districts

Krstic faces a series of charges, including wire fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud. If convicted in the Northern District of Texas, he could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count.

The Eastern District of New York’s charges carry the same maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Conclusion: No Criminal Out of Reach

The U.S. government, in partnership with international agencies and law enforcement, pursued Krstic’s extradition to ensure that he faces the consequences of his actions. Krstic’s arrest and extradition demonstrate the unwavering commitment to bringing cyber-criminals to justice, regardless of their location.

The indictment against Krstic represents allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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