An Easton man accused of stealing $7 million from two companies by lying about Bitcoin transactions is facing new legal trouble.
Jon Barry Thompson, also known as J. Barry Thompson, was arrested in July in Easton, and charged with two counts each of commodities fraud and wire fraud. He has been free on $500,000 bond.
On Monday, Thompson was indicted by a grand jury in the Southern District of New York on commodities fraud and wire fraud charges, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed separate civil charges against Thompson.
The CFTC alleges neither Thompson nor his companies had the promised Bitcoin, that the Bitcoin was never delivered to the customers, and the money was not safeguarded as promised.
“Jon Barry Thompson repeatedly lied to investors in cryptocurrencies about the safety of their investments made through his companies. As a result of Thompson’s lies, investors lost millions of dollars,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a news release.
The 48-year-old Thompson was the principal of Volantis, which included a cryptocurrency escrow company called Volantis Escrow Platform LLC and a related company, Volantis Market Making LCC.
Prosecutors said Thompson stole $7 million from two companies after lying about transactions of the peer-to-peer digital currency Bitcoin -- $3 million from one company and $4 million from a second.
Thompson offered minimized settlement default risk in cryptocurrency transactions, and claimed there was no risk of default, prosecutors allege.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney previously said Thompson used phrases and terminology that the victimized companies didn’t understand, and he “allegedly preyed on their ignorance of the emerging cryptocurrency.”
Forbes previously reported Symphony, an Irish investment company that specializes in trading cryptocurrencies, gave Thompson 3.6 million Euros to purchase Bitcoin on its behalf.
Symphony never received any Bitcoin and its money was never returned.
In that case, the plaintiff withdrew the complaint it had brought in federal court in Pennsylvania and, instead, reached a private settlement with Thompson. Thompson then breached the agreement by failing to make the first settlement payment, Forbes reported.
Jon Barry Thompson, also known as J. Barry Thompson, […]