Washington: An Indian ex-CEO of a publicly traded American fintech firm has been indicted for orchestrating a multi-million dollar accounting fraud to inflate the revenue of the now-defunct cryptocurrency company to get it listed on the Nasdaq, a US attorney has said.
Venkata Meenavalli, 49, and others orchestrated the fraud in 2017 and 2018 relating to Longfin Corp, a publicly traded company purportedly engaged in sophisticated commodities trading and so-called ‘cryptocurrency’ transactions, including ‘blockchain-empowered solutions.’
He has been indicted for allegedly orchestrating the scheme to defraud investors and others by recognising more than $66 million in fake revenue to fraudulently get the company listed on the Nasdaq, US Attorney Craig Carpenito said on Wednesday. The Nasdaq is an American stock exchange. The charges carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
The company’s share price jumped some 2,000 per cent in 2017 after announcing a blockchain pivot, it said.
Simultaneously, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed a new fraud action against Longfin and Meenavalli for falsifying the company’s revenue and, together with a former Longfin consultant, for fraudulently securing the company’s listing on the Nasdaq.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Longfin did not engage in any revenue-producing cryptocurrency transactions, and did not use the blockchain to empower any solutions....