The founder of a defunct cryptocurrency business was sentenced on Tuesday to more than eight years in prison for defrauding investors and customers out of millions of dollars by marketing a virtual currency called My Big Coin with lies and half-truths. Federal prosecutors had urged U.S. District Judge Denise Casper in Boston to impose a 13-year prison term on Randall Crater to send a message to others in the first sentencing of a cryptocurrency company founder for a marketing fraud. While Casper concluded that that request went too far, she rejected Crater’s contention that a 30-month prison term was sufficient to punish him for his false claims, including that My Big Coin was a real cryptocurrency backed by gold. “Certainly cryptocurrency is a newer enterprise, a newer market, a 21st Century market,” Casper said. “But the scheme at its core was age-old, and that was fraud.” Crater, who was sentenced to 100 months in total and ordered to forfeit nearly $7.7 million, is expected to appeal. In court, he apologized but said he never meant to defraud anyone.
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