Dear Dr. Brent Lee kendell lawyer:
Here’s my problem.. you’re a lawyer, maybe you can help. I was contacted by a romance scammer who eventually got me involved in Bitcoin. I started with $3,000, but after I saw the money in my crypto wallet, despite red flags which included an inquiry by my bank and legal counsel, I invested another $100,000 that grew to $147,000 in two months. He supplied his California Driver’s license to confirm his identity and he even helped me with the transfer of the money. Now, the account is frozen and Svend wants more money to pay the tax on the withdrawal. I know, I know, I’ve been scammed, but is there anything I can do? Can I sue?
Bitcoin, like other crypto currency is a ponzi scam with a difference. In your classical Ponzi scheme, new investors pay the return of the older investors near the top of the pyramid, a “Use Peter’s money to pay Paul” scenario, but in a crypto currency scheme there is no Peter there is no Paul. The scammer simply seals your money and spends it!
Of course there’s something you can do, but whatever you do, do not use good money to go after bad. NO! The volume, tax or fee to get your money back is scam. Hindsight is always 20/20, so I’d like to know the red flags you ignored, but that’s in the past anyway.
I’ve got good news and bad news. You want the bad news first? You’ve been scammed and it is highly unlikely you’ll get any of your money back. You were warned by your bank and legal counsel. Bitcoin is basically gambling with a very very low percentage of making any money. Like any Ponzi scheme the suckers at the bottom of the pyramid are left holding the bag, with nothing in it! The driver’s license is arguably phony. Most of these scammers are offshore to avoid jurisdiction.
Good News? Every dog has his day! While it isnt much consolation, even Harvey Winestein is in jail! Since your texts to the scammer crossed state lines, it is within the jurisdiction of the FBI. Go on the FBI website www.fbi.com and file a report. Criminals keep running their illegal operations until they are eventually caught. While your chances of getting your money back is slim, it happens! It wont happen if you dont try!
On the top of interpol and The FBI’s most wanted list is a scammer. She’s in hiding with a million dollar bounty on her head! Ruja Ignatova wanted for security fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, has been nicknamed Crypto Queen. She was involved with One Coin and over four billion dollars were scammed.
Don’t let this scammer steal your money with impunity. Gather all information, i.e., bank accounts, texts, IP numbers, his DL, etc. and file it under the FBI’s cyber crimes unit. Money is no good to a criminal unless he can spend it. When he spends it he’s going to leave an electronic foot print which can be traced.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. Yeah, you were scammed, I’m sorry, but so were so many others. It’s easy to say “It will never happen to me!” but it happens, more than most people know. My best legal advice? Do your homework and research these so called crypto experts. Do they have a business degree? Do they have a professional license? CPA? Lawyer? Certified Financial advisor? Anything? High School degree?
And, yes, look for red flags. Do they have a foreign accent? Do they refuse to talk via Skype? Does it sound too good to be true? Ask them if its taxable! Of course it is, but these scammers are not likely tax experts. There are no get rich quick investments. Except for my own crypto currency Buzzz…Coin! Ok, just kidding and I’m sorry to make jokes during your time of despair.
So, again, gather all relevant information, pull the FBI website, and file a report. The FBI isn’t going to send someone out, but the more that is know about these criminals and their criminal activities, the sooner they will be serving time in federal prison.
To answer your last question… of course you can sue! You can sue anybody for anything. It’s not whether you can sue, it’s whether you can win in court and will you collect any money that exceeds your legal fees. Get some free legal advice from any lawyer online.
Any legal questions? Email Br******************@ga**.com and check out some of my legal articles produced by Lost Anarchy Magazine. Facebook Brentleekendell and instagram brentleekendell
Brent Kendell, JD, CPA