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Criminal Charges Filed Against Goldman Sachs By Malaysia’s Attorney General

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After many months of investigation about the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia, Tommy Thomas, the country’s attorney general has finally filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and in today’s crypto news we find out more about it.

The attorney general of Malaysia has filed criminal charges to three other subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs International such as former partner Tim Leissner, Jho Low and former 1MDB counsel Jasmine Loo.

The Malaysian authorities released a statement that confirms the prosecution for publishing false statements and omitting material information. Tommy Thomas noted that the offenses were related to documents for international bond sale by the 1MDB where approximately $6.5 billion worth of bonds were arranged by Goldman Sachs and $2.7 was embezzled.

1MDB was the focus in an international investigation led by the Justice Department of the United States. Goldman Sachs on the other hand, led by former executive Roger Ng who is now fighting extradition to the US is also facing charges by the Justice Department.

A piece of the statement says:

Malaysia considers the allegations in the charges against the accused to be grave violations of our securities laws, and to reflect their severity, prosecutors will seek criminal fines against the accused well in excess of the $2.7 billion misappropriated from the bonds proceeds and $600 million in fees received by Goldman Sachs, and custodial sentences against each of the individual accused: the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years.

Leissner has already pleaded guilty for embezzling public money and bribing public officials. Low and Loo are charged in absentia with money laundering.

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Bitcoin Scams

South Korea Crypto Criminals Stole Over $2 Billion In 2 Years: Report

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The South Korea crypto criminals are known as one of the best in what they do - mainly because the country is easily in one of the top five crypto destinations in the world. A new report is in the latest cryptocurrency news, showing that the crypto scammers from this country managed to steal more than $2 billion in only 2 years. The report was officially unveiled by the South Korea Justice Ministry, estimating a loss of 2.69 trillion won (around $2.28 billion) to cryptocurrency related crimes in the past two years. The statistics, as the altcoin news show, cover a time period from July 2017 to June 2019 specifically, in which the Justice Department claims that it has indicted and detained 132 crypto criminals and fraud scheme operators. Another 288 criminals were charged without any physical detention as the Ministry revealed. The report also showed the efforts of the Justice Department and the Justice Minister Park Sang-Kim to enforce new crypto criminal laws and therefore bring the South Korea crypto criminals to justice. For instance, it revealed that the country has seen an increasing number of opaque (or quasi anonymous) accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges, which make user identification and tracking asset movement difficult. In addition to this, a couple of minor exchanges from the country resorted to using "beehive accounts" to circumvent a 2018 ban on the existence of anonymous crypto exchange platforms. As the reports by many best cryptocurrency news sites show, the exchanges in question keep their users' funds in their corporate bank accounts so that the identities of their users become private. In an attempt to bring an end to this, the government tried to veto the practice - but a court stopped the manoeuvre dead in its tracks based on a ruling that it would be inappropriate to close the accounts by the corporate banks - held by exchanges. The government could compel all of the exchanges to be more liable to their users in the case of fraud or crimes and hope that the increased exposure would cause them to sit up and play ball. However, even a solution like this would be indicative of the same fact. All in all, South Korea desperately needs some clear regulations with its crypto industry in order for the crime wave to be effectively stopped.
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Bitcoin Scams

Silk Road User Gets $19 Million Bitcoin (BTC) Confiscated By Government

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It seems like the number of people who facilitate large-scale illicit activities online using cryptocurrencies is growing - and the government bodies are eyeing them closer and closer. In the latest cryptocurrency news, we can see one Silk Road user getting his millions in Bitcoin (BTC) confiscated by the United States government. It was actually the U.S. Justice Department’s Southern District of New York (SDNY) that announced the arrest of the 60-year old Ohio resident Hugh Brian Haney and the unsealing of federal charges against him as a cryptocurrency-centric case. The Silk Road user is said to have laundered millions of dollars worth of BTC that he accrued from drug deals on the infamous and now-defunct Silk Road dark web market. The U.S. authorities managed to seize $19 million USD worth of Bitcoin from him as part of the Thursday arrest. Notable, the Silk Road was shuttered by the FBI back in 2013. However, there are still cases like these which prove that there are a lot of unsolved mysteries from the site. The Silk Road user with his $19 million in BTC is one of them, featured on many best cryptocurrency news sites this month. If you are asking how did this all happen, it started when the New York unit of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) - which is a wing of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency - helped the SDNY on the Hanley case and managed to track the Silk Road user. The Special Agent-in-Charge Angel Melendez confirmed his team had “employed blockchain analytics” in order to track the user. The altcoin news show that there may be similar cases to this one where altcoins are used for illicit activities. How the FBI managed to track the Silk Road user and lock him is still unknown - though it is possible that the agents turned to one of the well known blockchain investigator firms for outside expertise. The investigators determined that the Silk Road user had been transferring Bitcoin associated with his prolific Pharmville Silk Road vendor account to an undisclosed cryptocurrency exchange starting in 2017 - four years after the market was taken down. The office of SDNY came up with a statement, citing the attorney Geoffrey S. Berman who said:
“As alleged, Hugh Haney used Silk Road as a means to sell drugs to people all over the world.  Then he allegedly laundered his profits – more than $19 million – through cryptocurrency.  Today’s arrest should be a warning to dealers peddling their drugs on the dark web that they cannot remain anonymous forever, especially when attempting to legitimize their illicit proceeds."
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Bitcoin Scams

Bitcoin Reaches The Second Inning As Bakkt Launch Nears

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Bitcoin Reaches
Bitcoin reaches the second Inning as the launch of the crypto exchange bakkt is nearing since it is considered as the major driver for institutional crypto adoption and the bull market. In the coming altcoin news today, we take a closer look at the cryptocurrency and what the Bakkt launch will bring us. Bakkt was supposed to be launched already but as we can see, it is still pending. This increases the chances that the 2019 bitcoin bull run has just started since the bitcoin exchange company is boosting the Wall Street companies with the promise of uncorrelated returns to the stock market. The launch has taken longer than expected but the work is ongoing. The User acceptance  testing (UAT) is scheduled to begin soon according to the exchange and a Fundstrat research report:
 “Bakkt’s launch is expected late in the current quarter.”  “Bakkt could be a huge catalyst for institutional participation in the crypto market.”
Bakkt hosted a summit this week at the NYSE and the company behind it-ICE stated that the things are looking quite bullish for the bitcoin cryptocurrency in the latter part of the year. According to the Fundstrat note, there is a robust turnout at the conference of more than 100 investors. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission which is the most important agency in the launch of Bakkt’s bitcoin futures contracts also had representation. Fundstrat’s reports show that the CFTC  is seeing massive growth in demand and interest for Bitcoin futures from the Public. The bitcoin futures contracts by the CME and CBOE are still considered as the mark of the beginning of the crypto bull market. This is why bitcoin reaches the second inning since soon it will be clear whether the history will repeat itself again. As the latest cryptocurrency news report, Ari Paul, the CIO of BlockTowerCapital participates in the Bakkt event and he is helping with the new addition of users into space. The report also shows that Paul believes that retail adoption will be massive once the app and UI make crypto on-ramps safe and easy to use as PayPal.  
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Bitcoin Scams

Australian Couple Loses $900,000 In A Crypto Scam

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Australian Couple Mike Taylor and his wife Karen in their mid-seventies lost more than $900,000 after investing in an elaborate cryptocurrency scam according to the reports we have in our latest cryptocurrency news below. The Australian Couple told the 7News local station that the losses included their lifetime savings:
 “That was the whole of our superannuation – that’s now gone.”
They didn’t explain how the scheme actually worked but Taylor commented that it was during a crypto trading scam website that promised high returns. He added that they decided to invest because the site ‘’looked legitimate.’’ The couple decided during a trip around the country to invest in the scam. They stated that the money basically disappeared and left the couple and many other Australians in the bankruptcy. Taylor told 7News that he had to go back to work and sell his old 1965 Pontiac in order to make the ends meet. This is not an isolated case according to the reports. On the contrary to what people think, crypto scams have increased massively since 2017 according to the reports issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission since 2018 that the losses generated by the crypto scams reached about $6.11 million which shows a massive 190 percent increase over 2017. With the new addition of the $990,000 already gone, 2019 sets a new trend for crypto scams and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is aware of this happening. There is a 32 percent increase in fraud since 2018 with more than 2,400 reported cases. The Australian watchdog announced the new corporate action plan for 2018 that the crypto sectors and ICOs are the number one priority. If the new policies become a success the country will be able to reduce the crypto scam phenomenon. One strategy that showed to be successful among the scammers is to usurp the identity of celebrities to deceive users. The most popular case was the one of High Jackman which guaranteed returns of more than 10,000 percent. The cryptocurrencies have characteristics that could complicate the protection of users in times of fraud mainly because the transactions are irreversible which makes it impossible for any entity to return funds to a scam victim. Also, the network is decentralized and removes the control from the bank but also there is a high level of anonymity which makes it difficult to know who owns a particular wallet as noted in the altcoin news reports.
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