The SEC is suing a business owner for over $1 billion in unregistered crypto sales and theft worth millions of dollars.

On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against a U.S. citizen who, according to the SEC, raised more than $1 billion through the unregistered offer and sale of crypto securities before stealing millions to fund a high-status lifestyle and buy luxury items, including the most prominent black diamond in the world.

Richard Schueler ran Hex, PulseChain, and PulseX, offering crypto assets. The SEC says that Heart advertised the purchases as a “pathway to grandiose wealth.”

The sales were made with Hex coins, sold as a “Certificate of Deposit” based on Ethereum. But the SEC says that Schueler’s 38% yearly return claim was just a cover for a highly complex scheme.

Schueler is going to civil court to answer three securities theft charges.

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The SEC says that Schueler, born in the United States but now lives in Finland, secretly cheated his investors by making hundreds of millions of dollars worth of “wash trading” on his platforms; this “created the false impression of significant trading volume and organic demand for Hex tokens,” the SEC says.

The SEC said Schueler stole at least $12 million from investors to buy a 555-carat black diamond, high-end cars, and expensive watches. The SEC said he bought a Rolex Daytona for $550,000, a Rolex GMT Master II for $800,000, and another Rolex watch for $1.38 million that was not named.

In March, Schueler started to cut back on how much he was on social media. He deleted his Instagram account to “show more humility and respect.”

Case 1:23-cv-05749 was filed in the Eastern District of New York with the charges against Schueler.

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