Nevin Shetty, a former chief financial officer (CFO) at a Seattle startup, is at the center of a massive cryptocurrency embezzlement scandal.
The disgraced executive has been indicted on wire fraud charges after allegedly diverting approximately $35 million from the company’s funds to a secret crypto platform under his personal control.
Unveiling The Elaborate Scheme
According to the indictment filed in the United States District Court in Seattle, Nevin Shetty stands accused of orchestrating an intricate scheme to divert millions of dollars from his former employer’s accounts.
The indictment filed in the United States District Court in Seattle disclosed that Nevin Shetty is accused of creating his cryptocurrency platform, named HighTower Treasury, during the period leading up to his anticipated departure as CFO. The timing of this setup raises suspicions about his motivations and intentions.
During two weeks in April 2022, Shetty is said to have transferred a staggering $35,000,100 from the company’s accounts to an undisclosed account associated with HighTower Treasury.
What makes this embezzlement particularly audacious is the alleged purpose behind the transaction. Shetty intended to utilize the funds for investments in the decentralized finance (DeFi) market.
By doing so, he aimed to secure a 6% interest rate for his company while retaining the remaining interest for HighTower, resulting in significant profits.
The Downfall And Legal Consequences
Unfortunately for Shetty, his ambitious plan quickly unraveled as his cryptocurrency investments plummeted, rendering the $35-million investment virtually worthless. The decline was so severe that by May 13, 2022, the once-promising venture had turned into a financial disaster.
As soon as the embezzlement was uncovered, the startup immediately reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), setting off a thorough investigation into Shetty’s actions.
The repercussions of these fraudulent actions are dire for Nevin Shetty. He could potentially be sentenced to at least 20 years if convicted of wire fraud. The arraignment scheduled for May 25, 2023, will mark a critical turning point in the legal battle ahead.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time an ex-CFO was caught red-handed and involved in the illicit diversion of the company’s funds into crypto-related investments.
In a similar case earlier this year in January, the Former chief financial officer of two special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) pleaded guilty in court to embezzling more than $5 million to trade meme stocks and cryptocurrencies.
The crypto market has maintained composure despite the news. Over the past 24 hours, the global crypto market has plummeted only 0.6%, with a market value above $1 trillion.
Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView