Yesterday, July 20, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Homero Joshua Garza, of GAW Mining notoriety, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in federal court. The DOJ alleged that from May 2014 to January 2016, Garza owned and operated GAW Miners, ZenMiner, and ZenCloud, companies that deceptively marketed and sold mining investments via “hashlets.” Hashlets supposedly entitled investors to a share in the companies’ profits.
Early last month, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) won a final judgment against GAW Miners and ZenMiner. As a result, each company was ordered to pay “disgorgement and prejudgment interest” for fraudulent business practices. In the course of its investigation, the SEC determined that Garza’s companies lacked much of the computing power that was sold. Instead, Garza paid investor returns using money that he received from subsequent victims.
Per the DOJ, “The loss attributable to GARZA from the scheme was $9,182,000.” He will be sentenced by US District Judge Robert Chatigny on October 12, 2017. Garza faces a potential prison term of 20 years, though his securities fraud case is still pending.