Crypto fraud: 2 Estonians (finally) arrested for a $575 million scam
Crooks Without Borders – The scammers and the sourdoughs did not wait for the cryptos to rob the brave people at the bend of a path. Just like the pyramids of Ponzi did exist before Satoshi released Bitcoin on the internet. But it must be recognized that the globalization and assets digital were created a special playground vast and attractive for mobsters 3.0. Today we are going to meet two thirty-somethings estonians who had implemented a rather successful system that generated 575 million dollars in a few years. At least, that’s what the FBIbecause while waiting for the final judgment, they are of course assumed as presumed the innocent. Explanations.
An international investigation for an extraordinary case
Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turogin are both 37 years old and they have just been arrested in Tallinn in Estonia. The indictment of October 27 emanates from the United States Department of Justice and more particularly from the Attorney General for the Western District of Washington, Nick Brown. The survey was conducted by the FBI who stalks without releasing crooks of all stripesin consultation with several bodies including the Cybercrime Office of the Estonian Police and the border police.
The criminal section specializing in whiten of money is also concerned by the international procedure which involved forces american and Estonian for several years. 18 charges weigh on the two Estonians, several of whom plots in order to achieve a fraud to crypto, but also whiten in an organized gang, for a loot therefore appears at 575 million of dollars. They consider as much as possible 20 years criminal imprisonment for all of their offences. But, what exactly are we accusing them of?
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Very virtual crypto mining contracts!
Between 2015 and 2019the two partners would have defrauded hundreds of thousands of victims thanks to several fallacious processes. They first encouraged individuals to invest in a company of mining named cryptocurrencies HashFlare. Against cold hard currency, they rented a percentage of the power of their mining rigs to their customers who recover the crypto by exchange. A website even allows everyone to see the progress of their contract and the amount of crypto mined, in short, a good old contract of cloud mining.
Problem ? They only had 1% announced power! And they paid customers with spot-bought crypto as soon as they wanted to withdraw funds or simply drag out withdrawals as much as possible. They thus signed for almost 550 million of contracts between 2015 and 2019 before to disappear with the funds.
A Ponzi-shaped investment bank
But not content with their fake society of miningthey had also been established in 2017, a company specializing in investments in the crypto with which they collected no less than 25 millions of dollars. Polybiusis the name of their so-called bank, allowed them to coax and Dscam thousands of people paying the interest of exits with the money of the new attendees. It is a system of Ponzi of the most classic.
To try to whiten stolen funds, they are accused of having created several companies screens, fake bills and false contracts, but also to have purchased at least 75 properties real estate, 6 luxury vehicles, wallets of different cryptos and thousands mining machines.
Assistant District Attorney Kenneth A. Polite Jr. said in connection with the case that “new technologies make it easier for malicious people to take advantage of innocent victims, both in the United States and abroad, in increasingly complex scams” and his colleague Nick Brown acknowledged that by “the size and scope of the alleged scheme, this case is truly staggering”. Another great scenario idea for the showrunners from Netflix or Amazon who love the stories of white-collar gangsters!
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