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TikTok crypto influencer pleads guilty to $1.2 million fraud case

Danny Devan
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Following a guilty plea on charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering, a former crypto influencer on TikTok has been compelled to surrender a physical gold bitcoin and over $17,000 in cash.

TikTok personality indulged in cryptocurrency with ill-gotten funds

Denish Sahadevan, popularly known as Danny Devan on social media, allegedly orchestrated an intricate scheme, resulting in the fraudulent acquisition of more than $1.2 million from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The victims of this scheme include lenders and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

In a statement released on May 31, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland disclosed that Sahadevan allegedly laundered the illicit proceeds from his fraudulent endeavors by conducting a series of monetary transactions, including the purchase and trading of securities as well as cryptocurrency.

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With a substantial following of over 26,000 individuals on TikTok, the 31-year-old social media influencer, as indicated in his bio, portrayed himself as a crypto stocks investor. Some of his videos, providing crypto investment advice, have garnered over 300,000 views.

As part of the investigation, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Sahadevan’s residence in Potomac, where they discovered various items including a gold physical bitcoin of undisclosed value, multiple electronic devices, a container containing approximately 18 driver’s licenses belonging to different individuals, and an estimated $17,043 in cash.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Sahadevan will relinquish the money and bitcoin that were confiscated during the search, as they are deemed proceeds of his fraudulent activities. Additionally, he will be obligated to make restitution and settle a forfeiture judgment amounting to approximately $430,000.

Influencer confronted with a 20-year prison term

Reportedly commencing his fraudulent activities in March 2020, Sahadevan allegedly orchestrated a series of deceptive actions. Under his control, he submitted false applications for EIDL and PPP loans on behalf of four Maryland entities, fabricating supporting documents such as tax forms and bank statements.

Sahadevan, a resident of Rockville, confessed to utilizing his residence as a central location for creating counterfeit documents and electronically submitting applications for EIDL and PPP loans.

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Through approximately 71 PPP loan applications, totaling nearly $941,794.75, Sahadevan successfully obtained around $146,000 in PPP benefits. Additionally, he secured eight EIDLs amounting to $283,900.

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Having admitted to his fraudulent actions, the confessed perpetrator now confronts a potential maximum prison sentence of 20 years for wire fraud, up to 10 years for money laundering, and a mandatory consecutive two-year term for aggravated identity theft.

Important: This article is intended solely for informational purposes. It should not be considered or relied upon as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice.

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  • Asad

    Asad is a dynamic and talented cryptocurrency content author who brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to every article. With a deep understanding of blockchain technology and a passion for digital assets, Asad's writing is both informative and engaging.

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