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White Collar Criminal Charge: Former CEO Gets Two Years In Prison For “Cherry-Picking” Crypto Futures Fraud Scheme


On January 19th, 2024, Investment Executive reported that Peter Kambolin—the former owner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Florida-based commodities Systematic Alpha Management LLC —will serve two years in prison for his role in a cryptocurrency fraud scheme. Here, our Orlando white collar criminal defense lawyer discusses the charges in more detail.

The Allegations: Cherry-Picking of Cryptocurrency Trades 

Peter Kambolin was investigated for, and eventually charged with, fraud related to cryptocurrency futures trading. Notably, it is the first time a person has been convicted of a commodities fraud charge for this type of crypto-related “cherry-picking” offense.

In April 2023, the federal government alleged Kambolin and his company were making unlawful cryptocurrency trades. Effectively, prosecutors contend that Mr. Kambolin was keeping the successful trades for himself and his company and sticking clients with the failed trades. In other words, if a trade made money, they kept it, but if it lost money, the clients suffered.

Based on the evidence presented, Mr. Kambolin eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit commodities fraud. He has now been sentenced to two years in jail and a subsequent period of home confinement (18 months). The defendant will also pay $1.6 million in financial penalties. 

The Charge and Conviction: Conspiracy to Commit Commodities Fraud 

The defendant in this case—Peter Kambolin of Florida and New York—was arrested, charged with and convicted of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud. It is a very serious federal criminal offense. Here is an overview of the charge, the elements, and the penalties:

  • The Statute: Conspiracy to commit commodities fraud is a federal felony criminal offense. It occurs when two or more people work to deceive others in relation to commodities trading.
  • The Elements: The elements of this crime include an explicit or implied agreement to commit the fraud, knowledge and intent to defraud, and an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. In other words, the plan itself is a crime—even if not successfully carried out.
  • The Penalties: A person convicted of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud can face serious federal criminal penalties, including significant prison time and steep financial sanctions. They may also face a concurrent civil case from regulators and/or investors. 

Of course, any individual facing a conspiracy to commit commodities fraud charge or any other type of federal securities fraud charge and/or investment fraud charge is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. They have the right to raise a zealous defense. 

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With an Experienced Orlando White Collar Crimes Attorney

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando white collar criminal defense lawyer is an aggressive, experienced advocate for clients. If you or your loved one was charged criminally as part of any type of investment fraud case, we can help. Contact us today for a completely confidential case review with a top-rated white collar criminal defense lawyer. We serve communities across Central Florida.


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