A 37-year-old former Spokane man will be sentenced in September after pleading guilty to crypto fraud.

   Man ran a fake company

Michael Joseph McElhiney entered a guilty plea in US District Court for Eastern WA this week, and Judge Thomas O. Rice said he will receive his sentence in Sept.

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Federal prosecutors say between March of 2021, and September of 2022, he defrauded investors of at least $350K, along with art and precious metals. According to the US Attorney's Office:

 "McElhiney defrauded investors by pretending to operate a cryptocurrency investment fund known as MAC Blockchain Solutions. McElhiney promised prospective investors that he and his purported business partners ran a successful cryptocurrency investment fund that invested in emerging cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based projects, such as Ethereum staking and cryptocurrency liquidity pools."

He typically met his investors, or victims, when he utilized Uber transportation, and women he met through dating apps. He promised to invest their money, and said they could withdraw it at any time. He used an app called Coin.FYI for his clients to track their progress, but it turns out the account information he had was fake.

Investors began to question McElhiney when he offered them excuses for why they could not get  their money, He said, according to the US Attorney's Office:

 "MAC Solutions had experienced security breaches; McElhiney was out of the country and unable to facilitate withdrawals; McElhiney and MAC Solutions had been the victims of theft; payment processing platforms had paused withdrawals; and there were other delays in processing withdrawals."

Officials  say he will be sentenced in September.

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Gallery Credit: Chandler Friedman


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