David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat. David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat.
The president of the UN-headquartered World Sports Alliance has pleaded “not guilty” to a wire fraud charge related to the selling of an allegedly fake cryptocurrency, Law360 reports.
Asa Saint Clair, a resident of New York, is now reportedly under house arrest in Arizona, having been released from US federal custody on a $500,000 bond.
Prosecutors sought strict conditions for his release, as he’d bought a one-way ticket to Madagascar in the wake of investigator interviews. Authorities arrested Saint Clair at the airport.
According to Law360, prosecutors allege Saint Clair defrauded at least three investors out of thousands of dollars with claims that World Sports Alliance was in a position to help developing countries with access to water, food, and sports facilities.
IGOBIT, the cryptocurrency for developing countries that never existed
Saint Clair’s indictment claims he’d promised investors guaranteed returns if they bought World Sports Alliance’s purported blockchain-powered digital token “IGOBIT.” Prosectors have previously noted that IGOBIT never existed, despite Saint Clair having allegedly raised money for its launch.
Instead, Saint Clair is said to have taken investor money and spent it on dinners at Manhattan restaurants, plane tickets, and other personal expenses, as well as those of other World Sports Alliance employees.
The US government has referred to Worlds Sports Alliance as a “sham affiliate of the United Nations.”
“Saint Claire allegedly touted his company as promoting the values of sports and peace for a better world, yet defrauded all those who invested in his sham company,” said US special agent-in-charge Peter Fitzhugh. “As alleged, Saint Claire used the money he earned through deceit to fund a lavish lifestyle for him and his family.”
Saint Clair has however denied allegations he’d been scamming investors since 2017. His legal team reportedly argued that he’d only served as World Sports Alliance president for six months, and that he “travels the world” for his job, which supposedly explains the Madagascar incident.
They even claimed it’s not uncommon for businessmen in Saint Clair’s position to buy one-way tickets to African countries because such governments are not “schedule oriented.”
The case is scheduled to continue in mid-March, as prosecutors must reportedly investigate six terabytes of data seized from Saint Clair’s New York City apartment.
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