The Casablanca Court of Appeals has issued an 18-month prison sentence for Thomas Clausi, a 21-year-old Frenchman, for orchestrating a crypto scheme. The defendant is required to compensate his scam’s victims and pay a fine of 3.4 million euros ($3.7 million) to customs authorities.
Crypto fraudsters have been inventive in recent times, causing significant losses to investors. However, law enforcement has arrested and imprisoned some of them.
Gilbert Armenta, the ex-lover of Ruja Ignatova, aka “Cryptoqueen,” was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for participating in the infamous OneCoin scam. Cooper Morgenthau, former CFO of African Gold, was sentenced to three years for stealing $5 million from different SPACs to trade meme stocks.
Jail Time for the Frenchman, but There Is a Catch
As per Morocco World News, the Casablanca court confirmed the 18-month sentence for Thomas Clausi. The trial against the defendant started a few years back when a Frenchwoman residing in Morocco sold him a Ferrari car for $440,000 worth of bitcoin. Digital assets are considered an illicit payment method under local law.
Another individual claimed that Clausi purchased three luxury watches in exchange for a counterfeit check. The Casablanca Court ordered Clausi to refund the owner of the items for $4,000 and pay a penalty of $3.7 million to customs authorities.
Clausi’s lawyer, Mohamed Aghanaj, clarified that his client has almost served his jail sentence since he has been in a correctional facility since December 2021:
“He has one month and a few days left in prison.”
Despite Morocco’s hostile stance, cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular in the region. The country’s central bank, Al-Maghrib, has previously expressed the intention of designing a regulatory framework to ensure maximum security for users.
Some of the Previous Sentences
Gilbert Armenta, former boyfriend of Ruja Ignatova, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for laundering $300 million embezzled from OneCoin investors by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Courthouse. Cooper Morgenthau, ex-boss of African Gold, is also going to prison for draining over $5 million from three SPACs to trade equities and options of “meme stocks” and cryptocurrencies.
Do Kwon, co-founder of Terraform Labs, and Sam Bankman-Fried, former FTX CEO, have been accused of multi-billion cryptocurrency fraud and might go to prison if found guilty. Montenegro authorities arrested Kwon in March after he was allegedly on the run for several months. Bankman-Fried currently resides at his parent’s house in California after serving some time in a Bahamian jail. A trial at the beginning of October will decide whether he played a role in the FTX meltdown and could result in life imprisonment.