Local man indicted in $40 million fraud scheme
Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Washington man, Marquis Demacking Egerton (also known as Mardy Eger), 58, was indicted earlier this year on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and related substantive counts, in connection with a sophisticated scheme to steal assets from investors, according to the Department of Justice’s U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York. Egerton and accomplices were arrested on March 8, 2022
Egerton along with Dwayne Golden, Gregory Aggesen face 11 indictment counts. They were owners and operators of web-based virtual currency companies EmpowerCoin, ECoinPlus and Jet-Coin. Golden, Aggesen and William White were also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstructing justice and tampering with evidence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Per the indictment, between April 2017 and Aug. 2017 Egerton with Golden and Aggesen managed the aforementioned virtual currency companies. The companies’ websites “falsely promised investors and potential investors that these returns were made possible through overseas virtual currency trading operations. Investors and potential investors were encouraged to invest in the companies with either cash or Bitcoin. In reality, the assets were used to repay other investors or simply stolen, including by Golden, Aggesen and Egerton.”
“Golden maintained exclusive access to the Bitcoin and often siphoned Bitcoin funds off the top before paying any investors. The companies collapsed shortly after receiving the investors’ assets, without having engaged in trading activity,” the indictment showed. The fraudulent companies collected over $40 million from investors.
Separately, Golden Aggesen and White were charged with obstructing an investigation from the Federal Trade commission from July 2017 to present day. “Golden, Aggesen and White allegedly destroyed evidence, and White, on Aggesen’s behalf, provided false and misleading information to the FTC and in response to a federal grand jury subpoena,” according to the indictment.
If convicted, Egerton, Golden, Aggesen and White could face up to 20 years in prison.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI) announced the arrests and charges.
“As alleged, the defendants engaged in a sophisticated scheme that preyed on unsuspecting investors nationwide with false promises of guaranteed returns and virtual currency trading opportunities. When the companies collapsed and their criminal conduct was about to be exposed, the defendants attempted to cover their tracks and destroy evidence,” United States Attorney Breon Peace stated in a press release from the Department of Justice. “The scams may have been online and virtual, but these charges are very real. This Office is committed to protecting the public from criminals who view cryptocurrency as a new frontier to perpetrate old fashioned crimes of fraud and money laundering.”
“Whether we’re dealing with virtual currency or cold-hard cash, schemers continue to capitalize on investors’ best intentions and pocket their ill-gotten gains,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll. “As alleged, those charged today defrauded their victims and generated more than $40 million for their own benefit. This office remains committed to rooting out fraud in all its forms.”