An indictment was unsealed Wednesday, July 12 in Manhattan federal court that includes Long Island resident Eugene Austin, 60, of Port Jefferson, and son Brandon Austin, 27, of Coram. Austin (Brandon Austin).

According to prosecutors, the individuals fraudulently offered to act as brokers, selling large amounts of cryptocurrencies at below-market rates and offering short-term investments in cryptocurrencies for allegedly high returns.

They also provided marketing and advertising services to small businesses, though they had no intention of actually delivering the promised cryptocurrency, rewards or services, prosecutors said.

Investigators say Eugene Austin also duped friends and acquaintances into giving him personal loans, falsely claiming he would pay them back with interest.

Prosecutors have highlighted several victims who were allegedly defrauded by the pair, including a partner at a California investment firm who was defrauded of $5 million that he falsely believed was for the purchase of cryptocurrencies.

Together, the two caused more than $10 million in damages to 20 victims, prosecutors said.

The money was allegedly used for airfare, luxury hotels, restaurants and shopping trips, among other things.

Eugene Austin was arrested on Wednesday, July 5. He is charged with the following offences:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
  • conspiracy to launder money
  • Conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.

In April 2023, Brandon Austin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the scheme.

He faces up to 20 years in federal prison when sentenced Wednesday, Sept. 6.

He also agreed to forfeit $3.4 million, pay victims $1.9 million in restitution, and forfeit a 2022 Jaguar E-Pace P250 that starts at $41,000.

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