Massive $43M Crypto Ponzi Scheme Uncovered In New York, Leading To Wire Fraud Arrest

United States Attorney Damian Williams and FBI Assistant Director James Smith announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Idin Dalpour with wire fraud concerning a multi-year crypto Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of at least $43 million. 

Wire Fraud Indictment Unveils $43M Ponzi Scheme

The indictment alleges that from approximately 2020 to April 2024, Dalpour orchestrated a crypto-related Ponzi scheme targeting investors both in the United States and abroad. 

Dalpour purportedly solicited investments through an entity he controlled, Entity-1, which claimed to be involved in a Las Vegas hospitality enterprise and a crypto trading venture

However, instead of utilizing the funds as promised, Dalpour used money from new investors to pay earlier investors, employing a classic Ponzi scheme tactic. He defrauded investors out of at least $43 million throughout the scheme.

According to the investigation, Dalpour falsely represented that Entity-1 had secured contracts with a management company and a prominent Las Vegas hotel to rent out condominiums to visitors under the guise of the Las Vegas hospitality enterprise

Dalpour also claimed that the hotel arranged entertainment packages and owned shares in Las Vegas-based sports stadiums, from which he would allegedly receive a portion of concessions revenues. 

These promises were all part of his strategy to entice investors with the prospect of lucrative returns, starting at 42% interest per year. Dalpour fabricated contracts, email correspondence, and bank statements to support his fraudulent claims.

Fraudulent Crypto Trading Operations Exposed

In addition to the Vegas venture, Dalpour deceived investors with a supposed crypto trading operation. He claimed to purchase cryptocurrency at wholesale prices and sell it at a profit to retail investors. Like the Las Vegas scheme, he promised substantial annual returns and falsely assured investors their funds were insured.

In reality, Dalpour never utilized the investors’ money for the intended purposes. Instead, he used it to pay off earlier investors and finance his expenses, which included “extravagant gambling losses” totaling approximately $1.7 million, over $400,000 from Art Direct, and private school tuition for his children.

When investors sought to recoup their investments, Dalpour allegedly spun a “web of lies,” claiming that his company’s funds were frozen due to a hacking incident and that a Nevada-based bank was withholding the proceeds. However, it was later revealed that Entity-1 did not even have an account with the mentioned bank.

In November 2023, a group of victims confronted Dalpour about the Ponzi scheme. During this confrontation, Dalpour admitted to deceiving the victims, fabricating contracts and bank records, and misusing their investments. He even expressed resignation, acknowledging that he deserved imprisonment. Dalpour now faces charges of wire fraud, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted. 

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