Brooklyn man faces 20 years for cryptocurrency scam, fake business ventures


Thomas John Sfraga, better known as “TJ Stone,” has admitted guilt to wire fraud charges in a federal court, revealing a web of deceit involving fake cryptocurrency investments and fraudulent business ventures.


The U.S. Department of Justice charged Sfraga with duping investors by promising extraordinary returns of up to 60% within three months through a non-existent cryptocurrency digital wallet.

Instead of delivering these high returns, Sfraga allegedly funnelled the money for personal use and to reimburse earlier victims of his schemes.

Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, stated, “For years, Sfraga brazenly lied to friends, neighbours, and investors, swindling over $1.3 million of their hard-earned life savings.”

Adding a bizarre twist to his deceit, Sfraga claimed ownership of “Vandelay Contracting Corp.” and “Build Strong Homes LLC,” both names nodding to a fictional company from the TV show “Seinfeld.”

This quirky reference was part of his strategy to attract investors to fund non-existent construction projects.

The FBI’s investigation uncovered that Sfraga’s fraud extended to cryptocurrency staking, a practice where digital assets support a blockchain network in exchange for potential returns.

In a December 2023 complaint, the FBI detailed how Sfraga misrepresented the safety of these investments, falsely assuring investors of an “ironclad situation” with “no risk.”

Sfraga, who has a background in real estate development, media relations, and hosting cryptocurrency events, now faces up to 20 years in prison.

Additionally, he has been ordered to pay $1.33 million in restitution.

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