Stefan Qin and Virgil Capital face SEC fraud charges over crypto fund

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it obtained an emergency asset freeze order and other emergency relief against Virgil Capital LLC and its affiliated companies in relation with an alleged securities fraud connected to Virgil Capital’s flagship cryptocurrency trading fund, Virgil Sigma Fund LP. The US watchdog’s action alleges that the fraud was directed by Stefan Qin, an Australian citizen and part-time resident of New York, who owns and controls Virgil Capital and its affiliated companies.

According to the US regulator, Qin and his entities have been defrauding Sigma Fund investors since 2018 by making material misrepresentations about the fund’s strategy, assets and financial condition. The Commission alleges that the defendants misled investors to believe their money was used solely for cryptocurrency trading based on a proprietary algorithm, while Qin and the entities used the proceeds for personal use or for other undisclosed high-risk investments.

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Since July 2020, Qin and Virgil Capital have told investors who requested redemptions from the Sigma Fund, that their interests would be transferred to VQR Multistrategy Fund LP, another fund under the control of Qin but with separate management and operations. The regulator’s complaint alleges that no funds were transferred and the redemption requests remain outstanding. The SEC further alleges that Qin is actively attempting to misappropriate assets from the VQR Fund and to raise new investments in the Sigma Fund.

Kristina Littman, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit commented:

Kristina Littman, SEC

Kristina Littman
Source: LinkedIn

This emergency action is an important step to protect investor assets and prevent further harm. Qin allegedly made false promises to lure investors and then continued his deception to conceal his misuse of investor funds.

The SEC’s complaint was filed on 22 December 2020 in the Southern District of New York and charges Qin, Virgil Technologies LLC, Montgomery Technologies LLC, Virgil Quantitative Research LLC, Virgil Capital LLC and VQR Partners LLC with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks conduct-based injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest and civil penalties.

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