2 O.C. men sentenced in $1.9 million cryptocurrency scam

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (KNX) – Two Orange County men were sentenced to prison on Monday for swindling over 2,000 investors out of $1.9 million in a cryptocurrency scam.

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Federal officials said Jeremy David McAlpine, 26, of Fountain Valley, was sentenced to three years in prison, while Zachary Michael Matar, 29, of Huntington Beach, was sentenced to two and a half years.

In 2017, McAlpine and Matar founded Dropil Inc., which officials said “provided and managed investments in digital assets including a cryptocurrency called DROPs.” Those who invested were guaranteed access to “Dex”, an automated trading bot that “would produce average annual returns of between 24% and 63% depending on the ‘risk profile’ selected by the investor.”

Officials said the program wasn’t profitable and that the $1,896,657 the two men received from investors was used on themselves and their associates.

In addition to lying to investors, Mata also gave a false sworn testimony to the SEC about the amount of money raised.

The two each pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in August 2021.

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