Frequently Asked Questions
- What is this about?
- Where do the Remission Funds come from?
- What is a Petition for Remission?
- How do I file a Petition for Remission?
- What do I need to do to participate in the Remission Fund?
- Do I need an attorney to file a Petition?
- Is there a fee for filing a Petition?
- How will my loss amount be calculated?
- Will I be notified if my Notice and Petition for Remission is deficient?
- Why do I need to provide my Social Security Number on the Petition?
- What if I have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), but do not have a Social Security number?
- Do I have to be a United States citizen or have to reside in the United States to file a Petition?
- Can I file a Petition on behalf of an estate?
- Can an attorney file a Petition on behalf of their client?
- What if I need to change the name on the Petition?
- What is acceptable documentation?
- What is the calculation formula that will be used to determine payment?
- If my Petition is approved, how will I be paid?
- When will I get a payment?
- If my Petition is denied or I disagree with the granted amount, what appeal rights do I have?
- What happens if I don’t do anything?
- Where can I obtain additional information?
- How do I update my contact information?
- What is Epiq?
What is this about?
The United States is initiating a Remission process to return forfeited money to eligible victims of frauds perpetrated by Centra Tech. The Remission process is governed by the Code of Federal Regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 9 (the “Regulations”) and overseen by the Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (DOJ-MLARS). DOJ-MLARS hired Epiq Class Action and Claims Solutions, Inc. (“Epiq”) to serve as the Remission Administrator for this matter. The Petition for Remission Form (“Petition”) must be submitted in order to be potentially eligible to share in the distribution from the forfeited assets.
From approximately July 23, 2017, through October 5, 2017, Robert Joseph Farkas, Sohrab Sharma, and Raymond Trapani, through their company, Centra Tech (collectively referred to herein as “Centra Tech” or “the Defendants”), claimed to offer cryptocurrency-related financial products including a debit card that allowed users to spend cryptocurrency at stores that accepted MasterCard and Visa. The Defendants solicited investors to purchase unregistered securities in the form of digital tokens issued by Centra Tech (“CTR Tokens”), through a so-called “initial coin offering” or “ICO.” The representations made to help secure these investments, however, were false. The Defendants fabricated Centra Tech executive team members, did not have appropriate state licenses, and did not have relationships with financial services providers.
Based in part on these false representations, victim ICO investors provided millions of dollars’ worth of digital currency in investments for the purchase of CTR Tokens. Many CTR Tokens were subsequently traded on the secondary market while the defendants continued to misrepresent Centra Tech’s qualifications and capabilities. On April 2, 2018, two of the Defendants were publicly charged with violations of federal criminal law by a Criminal Complaint filed in the Southern District of New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a civil complaint in the Southern District of New York. Subsequently, the price of CTR Tokens declined to nearly zero.Back To Top
Where do the Remission Funds come from?
The United States Attorney’s Offices in Southern District of New York pursued civil and criminal forfeiture of property derived from the proceeds of the fraud scheme. Upon the issuance of a final order of forfeiture, the net proceeds of those forfeited assets will be available to compensate victims through the Remission process.Back To Top
What is a Petition for Remission?
A Petition for Remission is a request made to the Attorney General by victims of criminal activity to recover money that they have lost as a result of a particular crime. During the Remission process, the net proceeds of assets forfeited to the government are returned to the victims of the crime underlying the forfeiture. The regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 9 govern the Remission process. The final Remission decisions are made by DOJ-MLARS, on behalf of the Attorney General. Victims who disagree with the Remission decision will have an opportunity to request reconsideration by DOJ-MLARS. However, since Remission is a discretionary act by the Attorney General, final decisions are not reviewable in court.Back To Top
How do I file a Petition for Remission?
Harmed Investors may file a Petition for Remission Form online on this website. They may also download a Petition for Remission Form and complete and submit their Petition via email at info@CentraTechRemission.com or via mail to the Remission Administrator at:
US v. Centra Tech
P.O. Box 5834
Portland, OR 97228-5834
Please follow all instructions on the Petition for completing and submitting your Petition. Valid Petitions require supporting documentation to verify your transactions. Although individual transactions may be verified using available data, you are required to submit genuine copies and sufficient documentation for your transactions in and holdings of CTR Tokens set forth in the Schedule of Transactions in Part III of the Petition. The documentation must demonstrate that you controlled the address from which digital currency was contributed for purchase of the CTR Token(s).
The DOJ and the Remission Administrator do not have third-party documentation supporting your investments in CTR Tokens or Centra Tech. Such documentation may include emails, text messages, screenshots, or any other confirmation of your digital currency transaction(s). DO NOT SEND original supporting documentation. Keep a copy of all documents that you send to the Remission Administrator. Also, please do not highlight any portion of the Petition or any supporting documents.Back To Top
What do I need to do to participate in the Remission Fund?
To qualify for a payment, you must submit a completed Petition for Remission form with supporting documentation to the Remission Administrator online or by mail no later than April 28, 2023. See FAQ 4 "How do I file a Petition for Remission?" above for more information.Back To Top
Do I need an attorney to file a Petition?
No, you do not need an attorney to file a Petition.Back To Top
Is there a fee for filing a Petition?
Neither the Department of Justice nor the Remission Administrator charge fees for you to participate in the Remission process.
Please beware of other websites, entities, or communications you may receive claiming to administer the Remission process, Remission payments, or any other kind of refund from DOJ. Victims are never required to pay or hire an attorney to take part in any DOJ Remission process, including the process in this case.Back To Top
How will my loss amount be calculated?
The Remission regulations recognize out-of-pocket pecuniary losses (i.e. the amount paid for the CTR Tokens, minus any amount realized from its sale and any other recoveries). The Remission regulations do not permit the payment of transaction fees, forgone interest, attorney fees, or collateral expenses incurred to recover lost property or to seek other recompense.Back To Top
Will I be notified if my Notice and Petition for Remission is deficient?
Yes, the Remission Administrator (Epiq) will provide a Notice of Deficiency to all Petitioners with deficient Petitions specifying the additional information that must be submitted. The deficiency must be corrected within 30 days of the mailing date of the Notice of Deficiency. If the deficiency is not cured within 30 days or any extension thereof, the Remission Administrator will recommend to DOJ-MLARS that your Petition should be denied.Back To Top
Why do I need to provide my Social Security Number on the Petition?
Social Security numbers are collected to maintain compliance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA), 31 U.S.C. § 3716. The DCIA requires the Department of the Treasury and other disbursing officials to offset Federal payments to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed to the United States, or delinquent debts owed to states, including past-due child support enforced by states. If an offset is made during an electronic funds transfer, the Petitioner will receive a notification from the Department of the Treasury at the last address provided by the debtor to the creditor. If you believe that your payment may be subject to an offset, you may contact the Treasury Department at 1-800-304-3107. If you have a Social Security number, failure to provide the number will result in denial of your Petition.Back To Top
What if I have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), but do not have a Social Security number?
If you have an ITIN, enter your ITIN instead of a Social Security number.Back To Top
Do I have to be a United States citizen or have to reside in the United States to file a Petition?
No. You are not required to be a United States citizen or required to reside in the United States to file a Petition.Back To Top
Can I file a Petition on behalf of an estate?
Yes. If the person who invested is deceased, please submit the Petition in the name of the deceased, and include verification of the death and documents showing that you represent the estate.Back To Top
Can an attorney file a Petition on behalf of their client?
Yes, but they will need to supply signed documents from each victim indicating they represent them and are permitted to file the Petition on their behalf. The SSN/TIN provided must be that of the client and not the attorney.Back To Top
What if I need to change the name on the Petition?
If you need your name changed because of a marriage or divorce, please provide a copy of your marriage license or divorce decree, and a copy of your current government-issued ID.Back To Top
What is acceptable documentation?
Documentation for all the transaction in and holdings of CTR Tokens should be submitted with your submission. Please obtain any documents that are not in your possession, including from any exchange that was used to conduct the transactions. Such documentation may include emails, text messages, screenshots, or any other confirmation of your digital currency transaction(s). DO NOT SEND original supporting documentation. Keep a copy of all documents that you send to the Remission Administrator. Also, please do not highlight any portion of the Petition or any supporting documents.
The Department of Justice nor the Remission Administrator cannot pre-approve any documentation as acceptable without seeing it first.Back To Top
What is the calculation formula that will be used to determine payment?
If the forfeited funds are insufficient to fully compensate all the victims in a multi-victim case, the funds will be distributed on a pro rata basis in accordance with the amount of loss suffered by each victim.Back To Top
If my Petition is approved, how will I be paid?
You can receive your payment by check, digital payment, or via wire. Please indicate on your Petition which payment method you prefer. If your Petition is approved, you will be sent an email from the Remission Administrator for additional information. If you do not respond to that email, or the information you provide is invalid, you will be sent a check to the address provided on the submitted Petition form.Back To Top
When will I get a payment?
It will still take some time—potentially a year or more—to process and verify Petitions and determine who is eligible to get a payment. Please continue to check this website for updates on the status of the process.Back To Top
If my Petition is denied or I disagree with the granted amount, what appeal rights do I have?
You may file a request for reconsideration of the decision in the manner described in your decision letter. Requests for reconsideration are governed by 28 C.F.R. § 9.1(b) (2). Only one request for reconsideration is permitted.Back To Top
What happens if I don’t do anything?
If you do nothing, you will not be eligible to receive a payment from the Remission Fund.Back To Top
Where can I obtain additional information?
You may obtain additional information by contacting the Remission Administrator using the contact information located on the Contact Us page of this website.Back To Top
How do I update my contact information?
You can update your contact information by contacting the Remission Administrator by email at info@CentraTechRemission.com.Back To Top
What is Epiq?
Epiq Class Action and Claims Solutions, Inc., ("Epiq"), is a neutral third-party that has been engaged as the Remission Administrator by USDOJ-MLARS to assist in notifying potential Petitioners, reviewing the Petitions, conduct follow‑up communications with Petitioners, making decision recommendations, and mailing remission checks to eligible Petitioners.Back To Top