U.S. Attorney Announces Fraud And Money Laundering Charges Against Additional Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme Promoters | USAO-SDNY

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the arrest in Spain of NESTOR NUÑEZ, a/k/a “Salvador Molina,” on December 28, 2022, on fraud charges and the surrender of RAMON PEREZ on January 6, 2023, on fraud and money laundering charges.  The Government is seeking NUÑEZ’s extradition from Spain.  PEREZ was presented earlier today before United States Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.  On December 14, 2022, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams announced criminal charges against FRANCISLEY DA SILVA, JUAN TACURI, and ANTONIA PEREZ HERNANDEZ in United States v. Francisley da Silva, et al., 22 Cr. 622 (AT).  Along with PEREZ and NUÑEZ, all of these defendants were promoters of the cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme known as Forcount.  The Silva matter has been assigned to United States District Judge Analisa Torres.

As alleged in the unsealed S2 Superseding Indictment and the unsealed S3 Superseding Indictment:[1]

 PEREZ defrauded Forcount’s victim-investors (“Victims”) and then sought to conceal his fraud by laundering Victim funds through shell companies and by making large personal expenditures, including on real estate.  

In or about 2018, at the direction of SILVA, NUÑEZ began presenting himself as Forcount’s CEO under the alias “Salvador Molina.”  In reality, NUÑEZ was an actor paid by SILVA to promote Forcount.

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PEREZ, 40, of Orlando, Florida, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

NUÑEZ, 64, of Madrid, Spain, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  

The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by a judge.       

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of HSI New York, HSI Madrid, the New York City Police Department, the New York City Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Financial Services, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.  Mr. Williams also thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Brazilian Federal Police, and the Spanish Guardia Civil for their assistance.  

The case is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin A. Gianforti is in charge of this prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is committed to protecting the rights of crime victims.  If you believe you are a victim of the Forcount scheme, our Victim/Witness Unit can make sure that you are notified of important stages of these cases to help you exercise your rights.  In addition, our Victim/Witness Unit is available to answer questions you might have about these cases and can refer you to available resources.

Wendy Olsen Clancy

Victim/Witness Coordinator

United States Attorney’s Office

One St. Andrew’s Plaza

New York, New York 10007

(866) 874-8900

Wendy.Olsen@usdoj.gov

 


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictments and the description of the Indictments set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.