Authorities Take Down Organized Crime Group Responsible for $6.6 Million Crypto Scam

Francisco Memoria

Authorities in France and Belgium have announced they arrested an Israel-based organized crime group that lured 85 investors from both countries into a supposed cryptocurrency investment scheme.

According to Finance Magnates, 10 alleged scammers were arrested in connection to the cryptocurrency investment scheme, which defrauded the 85 investors out of a total of €6 million, equivalent to roughly $6.6 million.

The news outlet cites an indictment that describes the defendants’ use of elaborate tactics to lure in their victims into the investment scheme, promising large returns that could go up to 35%. The alleged scammers reportedly paid their initial investors small yields to get them to recruit new investors.

They then started using new funds to pay back existing investors, creating a Ponzi scheme that kept growing as investors referred others to earn more. The victims deposited their funds into “fake companies” controlled by the scammers, that then quickly transferred them to various bank accounts in Asian countries and Turkey.

Authorities from both countries reportedly also seized €1 million in cooperation with authorities from Luxembourg, while Israeli police has conducted seven searches and questioned five individuals.

As CryptoGlobe reported, cryptocurrency scammers have duped their victims out of a total of $4.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency last year, with Ponzi schemes being responsible for most of the cryptocurrency they took from victims. Apart from these schemes, scammers also used fake cryptocurrency mixers, phishing, and fake token sales.

Featured image via Pixabay.