- Ochoa, CEO of Ponzi scheme IcomTech, sentenced to 5 years prison and ordered to forfeit $914k for conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- IcomTech claimed to offer crypto mining/trading but funds actually went to fraudulent schemes and personal expenses
- IcomTech promoters held flashy events and accepted investments despite complaints, but scheme went bankrupt in 2019 amid liquidity issues
Marco Ruiz Ochoa, the CEO of a large-scale crypto Ponzi scheme known as IcomTech, has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit $914,000 in criminal proceeds after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Background on the IcomTech Scheme
IcomTech, a purported crypto mining and trading company, assured investors of returns in exchange for cryptocurrency investment products. However, prosecutors stated that IcomTech’s crypto business was non-existent, with funds instead used for alternative schemes and personal expenses.
Lavish Events and a Facade of Success
IcomTech promoters, including Ochoa, organized flashy events to showcase the scheme’s supposed success. They appeared in luxury vehicles and clothing to entice individuals to invest. Despite growing complaints from investors unable to withdraw funds, promoters persisted in promoting IcomTech and accepting more investments.
Attempts to Address Liquidity Issues
As complaints mounted, IcomTech attempted to address liquidity problems by offering proprietary crypto tokens called Icoms, falsely claiming they would gain value as companies accepted them for payment. In reality, Icoms were worthless. By late 2019, IcomTech ceased payments and went bankrupt.
Sentencing and Forfeiture
In addition to the five-year prison sentence, Ochoa was ordered to forfeit $914,000 in criminal proceeds and sentenced to two years supervised release. The significant sentence sends a message that promoting such schemes leads to serious consequences.