Utahn faces federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering

SPANISH FORK, Utah (ABC4) – A Spanish Fork man and two of his businesses have been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with multiple financial fraud schemes, according to the justice department (MJ).

James Wolfgramm, 43, and his businesses Bitex LLC and Ohana Capital Financial, Inc. (OCF), face seven felony counts – five counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.

According to the allegations in the indictment, since at least 2018, Wolfgramm “has portrayed himself on social media and in private communications as a multi-millionaire” who made his fortune in cryptocurrency, the DOJ says.

To gain victims’ trust and lure them into his businesses, Wolfgramm allegedly used images of cryptocurrency wallets “containing millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency, a suitcase full of cash, and social media posts of cars. expensive sports shoes”, which he claimed to own. , according to the DOJ.

However, some of these images were allegedly taken from other people’s websites and social media feeds.

The indictment further alleges that Wolfgramm and Bitex collected nearly $1.7 million from two victims by claiming to sell a “very powerful cryptocurrency mining machine”, called “Bitex Blockbuster”, which did not really exist. According to the indictment, Wolfgramm and Bitex displayed one of these alleged machines at Bitex’s offices, connected to a monitor that “appeared to display the machine’s real-time mining operations.”

In reality, the DOJ claims the machine was fake and the monitor displayed a pre-recorded loop that simply gave the appearance of mining activity.

The indictment also alleges that Wolfgramm and OCF marketed the company with the motto “Banking the Unbankable” and claimed to offer financial services to entities “ineligible for traditional bank accounts.”

According to the indictment, OCF’s websites falsely claimed to have an advisory board and “falsely promised that OCF client funds were bonded.” As a result of misrepresentations, OCF allegedly received millions of dollars from clients, who believed their money would be “held on deposit” until they ordered their funds released.

Instead, Wolfgramm and OCF spent those funds on “unrelated business expenses,” the DOJ said. An example includes reimbursement to an unrelated prior filer.

In the final scheme alleged in the indictment, Wolfgramm “fraudulently agreed to purchase the Sports City complex and land in Draper” for $15 million in 2021.

Wolfgramm took possession of the property and took over billing for all Sports City customers, allegedly collecting nearly $160,000, “without ever paying any utilities or expenses on the property and without making any of the promised payments. to the seller on the contract of sale,” according to the indictment.

As part of the fraud, Wolfgramm allegedly gave victims a $1 million check that bounced. Wolfgramm later claimed to have paid over $255,000 in taxes for the property.

According to the indictment, however, that payment failed and Wolfgramm “knew that the account from which it was allegedly drawn had insufficient funds.”

According to the DOJ, Bitex is named in two counts of wire fraud, while OCF is named in two counts of wire fraud, as well as two counts of money laundering.

Wolfgramm, Bitex and OCF are expected to face federal court on these charges.

If you believe you have been a victim of this crime, please call the FBI at (801) 579-1400.