Criminal Justice

Sugar Land man pleads guilty in $520,000 cryptocurrency scheme

Chen will be looking at a mandatory two year prison sentence for his involvement in the scam.

Bitcoin prices have spiked since October -- and the cryptocurrency is now closing in on $10,000, leading the way for digital currencies that have seen huge gains in 2017.

A Sugar Land man pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in connection with a more than $500,000 cryptocurrency scam, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

37-year-old Xiaofei Chen admitted to fraudulently wiring $520,000 from a person’s checking account and opening a Bitstamp cryptocurrency exchange account in their name, the office said in an announcement last week. He will be sentenced in January next year.

Chen is accused of using the person’s name and driver's license without the consent or knowledge of the victim.

Chen will be looking at a mandatory two years prison sentence, according to the office. U.S. District Judge Alfred Bennett ruled Chen is permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.