Heeding bad pop-finance influencers’ bad advice is more than just embarrassing – it can also land you behind bars, just ask Danny Devan, TikTok’s resident crypto guru.
On Wednesday, May 31, Danny Devan – a.k.a. 31-year-old Denish Sahadevan – swapped his signature white shirt for an orange jumpsuit, pleading guilty to several federal charges including money laundering, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft after defrauding officials out of upwards of $1.2 million in Covid-19 relief loans.
Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Sahadevan, who lives in Potomac, Maryland, allegedly submitted four separate Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EDIL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications, processes the Department of Justice said involved stealing a tax preparer’s identity and “creating fraudulent and fabricated documents, such as tax forms and bank statements, to be used in the applications.”
@tradeinvestsimplify ️️ #kennethsuna #personalfinance #learnontiktok #howtoinvest #dividendstocks #investingforbeginners #stocktok #moneytok #greenscreen ♬ original sound - Kenneth Suna
Meanwhile, Sahadevan managed to amass more than 600k followers on TikTok with his videos informing wannabe crypto bros how to manage the markets’ seemingly endless volatility.
"Then my friends were like, 'Yo, why don't you just start a TikTok?' And I was like, OK," Devan explained in a January 2022 Business Insider profile, detailing how the pandemic prompted him to launch his channel (and evidently scam the government out of seven-figure sums). "And then I started a TikTok, made a couple of videos, and then some went viral. And we just started gathering up a good follower base."
@arthurgaxiola danny devan charged #dannydevan #finance #fyp ♬ original sound - Arthur Gaxiola
Alongside a mandatory two-year prison sentence, Sahadevan will face up to 20 years behind bars for wire fraud and 10 years for money laundering at his sentencing set for September 21, 2023.
So, take it from Danny Devan – when crypto doesn’t work, there’s always fraud.