The 24-year-old New Yorker pleaded guilty to receiving more than $ 7 million in coronavirus relief through fake loan applications and misleading investors into displaying fake coins for the first time in 2018.
Taiwanese citizen Justin Cheng, also known as “Justin Joong,” filed a series of online loan applications with fake tax reports and payrolls between May and August last year, according to an April 20 US Department of Justice statement.
Cheng’s applications contained fake tax and payroll records that listed the names of 200 employees who received $ 1.5 million in monthly wages from Cheng’s business. However, the list consisted of current and former public figures, including the host of Good Morning America and Former Pennsylvania Football Coach.
In addition to registering with at least five different banks, the fraudster applied for a loan from the US Government’s Payroll and Financial Compensation Program. ”
Cheng secured $ 7 million in aid to his phantom employees, which he allegedly spent on personal expenses, including a $ 40,000 Rolex, a $ 17,000 monthly apartment rental, and a 2020 Mercedes. U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:
“Cheng lied to the Small Business Administration and several banks about the ownership of their company, the number of employees, and the use of any loan funds, using false and fraudulent documents. Cheng spent a lot of money on personal luxury goods.”
The self-proclaimed “serial contractor” also pleaded guilty to administering his company’s fraudulent ICO between August and October 2018.
In 2018, Cheng asked investors to join his company’s ICO, Alchemy Coin Technology Limited, making false statements about the company’s finances and readiness for a peer-to-peer lending platform, and without revealing whether the ICO was a fake offer. The Ministry of Justice said:
“These investments were made due to large false and misleading statements and omissions regarding Alchemy Coins access to capital, use of investor income, product readiness for a blockchain-based peer-to-peer lending platform, and the registration of tokens as part of the first coin offering.”
District Judge Alison J. Nathan delivers a verdict August 3, sentencing Ching to 80 years in prison.