San Francisco

2 Partners at SF Firm Charged in Cryptocurrency Fraud Scheme

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Two partners in a San Francisco investment firm are facing federal charges for their alleged roles in a nearly $1 million fraud scheme involving cryptocurrency.

Japheth Dillman, 44, of San Francisco, and David Mata, 42, of Spokane, Wash., are charged in the scheme with one count each of wire fraud, according to an announcement Wednesday from U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and officials from the FBI and IRS.

Both men are general partners in the Block Bits Fund I, LP, incorporated in Delaware but with a principal location in San Francisco.

Prosecutors said the men raised $960,000 from investors by misrepresenting an investment opportunity in 2017, and that investors lost approximately $508,000.

Dillman and Mata sent misleading updates and profit reports to investors, prosecutors said, representing that their funds were being stored securely when, in fact, they were invested in risky ventures.

If convicted of the charges, Dillman and Mata face a maximum statutory prison sentence of 20 years. In addition, the charge carries a maximum $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

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