A Bethlehem resident was one of three men indicted at federal court in Brooklyn, New York last week for what prosecutors said was an international crypto-currency scheme that bilked investors out of millions of dollars. Thomas “Papa” Smith, 35, who in 2021 became a principal in the Utah-registered SafeMoon US LLC and had called himself its chief technology officer, is accused, along with his two partners, of lying to investors and diverting investor money for his own use for the purchase of real estate, luxury vehicles, and personal investments. Smith is charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. The wire fraud and money laundering charges each carry a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and the securities fraud count a maximum of 25 years. According to the case summary, Smith has pleaded not guilty to all counts and was released on a $500,000 bond (prosecutors had asked for $1 million) as his case pends.
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