Chicago Trader Busted for Stealing from the Crypto Outfit He Worked for to Cover His Crypto Debts

A 24-year-old Chicago trader faces 20 years in prison after stealing cryptos from his firm to cover his own crypto losses.

Thanks to a hopeless crypto thief, prosecutors in Chicago, Ill. are celebrating their first criminal prosecution involving the cryptocurrency trading industry.

On Friday, Joseph Kim was charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of wire fraud. He allegedly stole $2 million in Bitcoin and Litecoin.

The charges were brought by the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

In over his head

At the tender age of 24, Kim managed to land a job as an assistant trader for Consolidated Trading LLC in Chicago. The trading firm recently formed a cryptocurrency group to engage in cryptocurrency trading, according to the complaint filed against Kim.

For two months during the fall of last year, Kim carried out his thievery, according to prosecutors. Not only did he steal to cover his own trading losses, but when he was caught, he lied to his bosses to hide his thievery, according to the complaint. He incurred the losses while trading crypto futures on foreign exchanges.

The complaint filed against Kim alleges the following:

In order to conceal the transfers, Kim lied to the firm’s management about the location of the company’s cryptocurrency and his trading of the company’s cryptocurrency, the complaint states. Consolidated’s management team discovered the misappropriation in late November, the complaint states.

Decades in prison

The release about the allegations being made against Kim goes on to remind the public that the complaint is not evidence of guilt.

The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, according to the release.