Indian American investment manager arrested for $10 million cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme


An Ohio man, an Indian American, was arrested by federal law enforcement authorities recently on criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in a cryptocurrency investment fraud scheme that raised at least $10 million from investors.

According to court documents, Rathnakishore Giri, 27, of New Albany, allegedly misled investors by fraudulently promoting himself as an expert cryptocurrency trader, with a specialty in trading Bitcoin derivatives.

With the FBI investigating the case, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Special Agent in Charge J. William Rivers of the FBI Cincinnati Field Office made the announcement about Giri’s arrest.

As alleged in the indictment, said the Department of Justice, Giri falsely promised investors that he would generate lucrative returns with no risk to their principal investment amount, which he guaranteed to return.

In reality, Giri often allegedly used the money provided by new investors to repay old investors – a hallmark of a Ponzi scheme. In addition, Giri allegedly had a record of investment failures, including a long history of losing investors’ principal investments, and misled investors about reasons for delays when they sought to cash out their investments or otherwise obtain the return of their “guaranteed” principal.

“Giri is charged by indictment with five counts of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors,” said the Department of Justice.

Trial Attorneys Lucy B. Jennings and Tamara Livshiz of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

The Justice Department has made a public appeal: “If you believe you are a victim in this case, please contact the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness Unit toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or by email at