Steven Drawdy, 39 of Grovetown, Georgia received approximately $1 million from more than two dozen people, who were expecting expensive cryptocurrency mining computers from him, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia announced in a press release. He has been indicted on federal charges over the scheme.
Wire fraud carries up to 20 years
The customers never received their orders. The indictment took place in a US District Court, with the defendant charged with one count of wire fraud, commented Jill E. Steinberg, US Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as restitution and significant fines. After completing his term in prison, he will undergo supervised release of three years. He will not be eligible for parole, because he has been indicted on federal charges, and the federal system does not have parole.
US Attorney Steinberg added:
Even though this alleged scheme involves complicated computer technology, at its core this is still just a case of taking money for goods that weren’t provided. With our law enforcement partners, we will work to protect consumers from schemes designed to steal their money.
How was the crime committed?
According to the prosecution, the defendant took part in an online crypto forum from August 2021 to April 2022, where he found his victims. He offered to sell mining computers and received payment in crypto in advance for the orders. Once he received the funds, he would stop communicating with the “customers.”
In some cases, he would ask the customer to pay a small fee to get a refund, and then would not provide the computer or the refund.
Drawdy is innocent until proven guilty as criminal indictments contain charges only. The FBI is investigating the case. Assistant US Attorney Jennifer A. Stanley is the prosecutor on behalf of the federal government.