Acting US Attorney for the New York City borough of Manhattan Audrey Strauss said in the release on Wednesday that Elmaani allegedly generated millions by soliciting investor money through his own cryptocurrency, adding to the purportedly fixed number of tokens and converting them to other cryptocurrencies, and failing to report or pay tax on any of the proceeds.
"As alleged, Amir Bruno Elmaani purported to establish a high-tech method of financing a high-tech business, but the underlying scheme was old-fashioned fraud and tax evasion," he pointed.
Acording to the release, Elmaani filed a false 2017 tax return stating that he had only approximately $15,000 of income from a "patent design" business, filed no return and reported no income to the Internal Revenue Service in 2018. In addition, Elmaani reportedly obtained the money through online sales of his cryptocurrency product.
Nevertheless, in 2018 he spent more than $10 million for the purchase of multiple yachts, $1.6 million at a carbon fiber composite company, hundreds of thousands of dollars at a home improvement store and more than $700,000 for the purchase of two homes, the release said.
Elmaani is charged with two counts of tax evasion, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.