A one-time San Francisco man was just sentenced to four years in prison for a cryptocurrency scheme that promised “10% returns every 30 business days,” but actually made no money whatsoever, and now he’s headed to prison for four years.

A former San Francisco resident was just sentenced to four years in prison, and ordered to pay a $5 million fine, for a cryptocurrency scheme that bilked investors out of an estimated $61 million, according to the Department of Justice. William Koo Ichioka’s firm Ichioka Ventures promised investors that “they would earn 10% returns every 30 business days,” according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, but Ichioka admitted in court documents that his company “hasn’t made any money since we started” in 2019.

“Ichioka lured his victims by falsely promising they would receive huge returns quickly on their investments,” first assistant U.S. attorney Patrick Robbins said in a Justice department release. “During the years that he ran his cryptocurrency-based Ponzi scheme, Ichioka managed to defraud more than 100 investors of tens of millions of dollars. Today’s sentence illustrates that lengthy prison terms await all those who seek to swindle investors in this district.”

Ichioka had already pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud, filing fraudulent tax returns, securities fraud, and commodities fraud.

And the Chronicle has the amusing footnote that “Ichioka’s personal losses amounted to $50 million to $60 million worth of bitcoins he had bet that the results of the 2020 presidential election would be overturned in favor of former President Donald Trump.”

“William Ichioka was able to secure millions from investors by telling them lie after lie,” FBI special agent in charge Robert Tripp said in a release after Ichioka pleaded guilty. “His ‘miraculous’ rates of return, however, were illusory. He stole from family, friends, and others to fund his lavish lifestyle while sustaining his deceit through investment repayments.”

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