Chinese Police Busted $193 Million Crypto Scam, All in Cash Stacked In Villa
Police in China’s Henan province has recently busted an extremely serious cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that amassed over 1.3 billion yuan ($193 million) and arrested 27 suspects involved.
According to a report from China’s state-owned television broadcaster CCTV, the police were astonished to find out that the mastermind bought a villa worth millions of yuan specially for storing the swindled money. The cash stacked up in the villa was up to 1.3 billion yuan.
The crypto project, dubbed “I Am a Clown” (IAC), described itself as a social media platform. To make their story convincing, some novel concepts like cryptocurrency, blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence are flagged. It is of course difficult for ordinary people to see through the smoke of these terminologies.
Its strategy is simple: lure more members in and pocket in their membership fees, the same as classic pyramid scams, recruiting members via a promise of high returns and payments for enrolling others into the scheme.
The police started the investigation on the case since last June, and have so far arrested 27 suspects with 1.3 billion yuan involved.
As per a report by 8btc earlier this month, scams in the crypto space have been rampant since bitcoin-like cryptocurrency surged in price. In 2018, China has seen 203 cryptocurrency scams, with over 3,000 platforms using the concept of cryptocurrency to scam innocents.
A day before it on Jan.26, Taiwan police also arrested 15 suspects involved in an $8 million crypto scam called “IBCoin”. Chinese police have busted the notorious OneCoin scam which amassed €1.9 billion in Hunan and a $13.7 million crypto pyramid scheme in Xi’An last year.
In the growing digital currency industry, a bigger regulatory and legal crackdown aimed at abuses and outright fraud has been in action. The arrest is another crackdown on alleged cryptocurrency fraud in China as law enforcement in the country have been beefing up efforts to battle illegal fundraising.