John DeMarr, a central figure in Kristijan Krstic’s Ponzi empire, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

DeMarr has also been ordered to pay back $3.5 million in restitution.

DeMarr worked with Kristijan Krstic and other scammers to defraud consumers through Start Options, Dragon Mining and Bitcoiin.

DeMarr, 58, was indicted back in March 2021.

After initially pleading not guilty to four counts of fraud, DeMarr pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in August 2021.

DeMarr was facing a maximum sentence of five years, which as per his January 31st sentencing has been handed down.

Speaking on DeMarr’s sentencing, USA Breon Peace stated;

DeMarr took advantage of those who trusted him, persuading them to double down on their investments when he knew that his cryptocurrency companies and their dubious celebrity endorsements were scams being used to fund his lavish lifestyle.

The victims ultimately lost everything, so it is appropriate that DeMarr lose his freedom for concocting this fraud.

IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Tyler Hatcher spoke more broadly on the rise of cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes.

Cryptocurrency schemes are on the rise. The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and our law enforcement partners are working diligently to identify and investigate criminals who perpetrate these schemes, like John DeMarr.

Those who line their pockets with profits from these schemes should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable.

Fellow Krstic Ponzi empire accomplice Jaira David was sentenced to 3 years in prison early last month.

Kristijan Krstic (right) has been indicted twice by US authorities. At the behest of the FBI, Krstic was arrested in Serbia in July 2020.

As part of extradition proceedings, Krstic was eventually granted release pending a final decision by the Serbian government.

Upon being released under suspicious circumstances, Krstic and his wife promptly went into hiding. The wanted fugitives remain at large.