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Crypto-promotor unmasked, accused of fraud in luring investors through YouTube

Image of the YouTube video, which authorities say is Patrick McDonnell, of New York City, promoting his cryptocurrency company CabbageTech. He was indicted for fraud last week by the federal prosecutors.

Federal researchers have unmasked a cryptocurrency pitchman who dons a Guy Fawkes mask in his YouTube video, charging him with wire fraud.

Patrick McDonnell, 46, of New York City, is defendant in a wire fraud indictment filed in Brooklyn Federal Court last week, the New York Post reports.

“McDonnell used smoke and mirrors to allegedly dupe investors in his company, CabbageTech, for advice and strategies on cryptocurrency trading,” said Postal Inspection Service Agent Philip Bartlett in a press release announcement of McDonnell’s arrest.

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The 40-minute-long YouTube video allegedly shows McDonnell in a Guy Fawkes mask — is associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous — pitching investors when he speaks of virtual money such as Bitcoin, the Post reported.

The prosecutors said McDonnell used fake bank statements to inform investors that their virtual currency investments were doing well, according to the paper.

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They also claimed that the money he obtained from investors was spent for his personal use, the Post reported.

The indictment claims CabbageTech operated a website with the name of the Coin Drop Markets, and that he defrauded investors out of the U.S. currency and virtual currency such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.

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McDonnell pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday. He was ordered to be held without bail.

Last year a judge ordered McDonnell to pay more than $1.1 million in restitution and civil penalties in a crypto-fraud lawsuit filed by the U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Staten Island Advance reported.

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