Semi-Pro Rugby player indicted for Ponzi scheme involving false representations about cryptocurrency mining investments

Seattle – A 36-year-old Seattle semi-professional rugby player was arrested on an indictment charging him with nine counts of wire fraud. Shane Donovan Moore operated Quantum Donovan LLC, a Washington company that Moore said was purchasing and operating cryptocurrency mining equipment. In fact, the indictment alleges that the company never invested in such equipment and operated as a Ponzi scheme, using investments from later investors to pay earlier investors. Moore made his initial appearance at the arraignment Monday morning.

“Cryptocurrency investors can fall victim to the same fraud tactics as any investor. “Mr. Moore operated a ‘Ponzi scheme,’ a fraud that has existed for decades, using money from new investors to pay off older investors until the scheme collapsed,” said U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. “So far investigators have identified 38 known victims, but believe there could be many more. We urge such investors to contact the FBI.”

“According to the indictment, between January 2021 and October 2022, Moore allegedly made fraudulent promises to obtain money from investors. Moore stated both verbally and in writing that the money invested would be used to purchase computers for a cryptocurrency mining operation. He told investors that they would receive 1% of their investment daily based on the work of the mining machines. However, Moore never purchased the mining machines. He combined investors' money with his personal accounts and used some of those funds to live a lavish lifestyle. Some of the funds were used to purchase cryptocurrency, so that a portion of the funds could be sent to investors to make them believe that the cryptocurrency mining operation existed.

An analysis of accounts controlled by Moore shows that he purchased more than $820,000 in cryptocurrency from crypto.com over the course of the scheme. Other records show that Moore transferred more than $1 million in cryptocurrency from his Coinbase account to other Coinbase accounts.

Moore recruited investors in Utah, Oregon, Connecticut, New Jersey and Washington. Many of the investors are people he knew from his rugby activities.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The charges contained in the indictment are only accusations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Wynne.

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