Hacking. Disinformation. Surveillance. CYBER is Motherboard’s podcast and reporting on the dark underbelly of the internet.

Michael Ackerman, 52, the leader of a fraudulent cryptocurrency fundraising group who used a stolen $9 million worth of cryptocurrency to buy real estate, Tiffany jewellery, and private security guards, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Wednesday, according to an announcement from the Department of Justice.

“As he admitted today, Michael Ackerman raised millions of dollars in investments for his fake cryptocurrency scheme by falsely touting monthly returns of over 15 percent, falsifying documents to con investors into thinking his fund had a balance of over $315 million, and spending millions in investor funds on himself.  Now Ackerman awaits sentencing for his crime,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement published with the announcement.

Beyond the jewellery and private security services, Ackerman also used his funds to…

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