Two Estonians have been arrested and jailed for defrauding hundreds of thousands of victims who believe they are investing $575 million in cryptocurrencies. It was actually a Ponzi scheme by which they “ at least 75 homes » and in particular 6 luxury cars.
Sergei Potapenko et Ivan Turõgin (ou Turygin), 37 ans, ont été arrêtés à Tallinn le 20 novembre, à la demande de la justice américaine, sur la base de 17 chefs d’accusation de fraud électronique et d’un autre de blanchiment d ‘silver. “ Each of these crimes carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. “, Specifies the press release of the Ministry of Justice, which recalls that the defendants are nevertheless presumed innocent.
They are accused of defrauding more than $550 million between 2015 and 2019 from a few hundred thousand victims who were thinking of investing, between 2015 and 2019, in a so-called crypto-asset mining service called HashFlare, and then, in 2017, $25 million through a so-called virtual currency bank called Polybius Bank.
They then used shell companies to launder and buy the proceeds from the scam” minimum 75 properties, 6 luxury vehicles as well as cryptocurrency wallets and thousands of mining machines around the world.
“ The size and scope of the alleged system is truly staggering U.S. Attorney Nick Brown of the Western District of Washington said: these defendants exploited the lure of cryptocurrencies and the mystery surrounding its mining to perpetrate a massive Ponzi scheme “.
” This is one of the biggest fraud cases we’ve ever had in Estonia says Oskar Gross, head of the cybercrime office of the Estonian National Criminal Investigation Department. ” Sufficient evidence has now been collected to arrest the suspects “.
The searches and arrests involved more than 100 police officers, including about 15 U.S. federal agents. Potapenko and Turõgin have been detained in Estonia pending extradition to the United States.