The US-DOJ executed a seizure warrant for 482 Bitcoins and an additional 1.7 million USDT from an alleged Ponzi scheme administrator as we are reading more in the upcoming crypto news.
The US-DOJ, (United States Department of Justice) filed a complaint against an alleged crypto Ponzi scheme to forfeit in more than $7 million in Tether and BTC. The administrator of the scam named “Bana Fund” used some of the raised funds for personal benefit including buying a house.
According to the official complaint the administrator of the scam marketed the company to investors as a platform for startups to post business proposals and to also receive crowdfunding in a few different cryptocurrencies. The investors sent different amounts of cryptocurrencies and received shares accordingly. However, the Banana Fund never became operational at all. The mastermind behind the project announced that the total amount raised about 557 BTC and 1.73 million Tether. However, back in 2018, he informed that the fund failed. He promised to refund the contributions claiming that there was a process of transferring of BTC to stablecoins to facilitate a refunding stage.
The complaint outlines that the administrator withdrew about 100 BTC from the investment funds of the victims to purchase a house for his personal use. He never actually proceeded with refunding so he became suspicious and that’s how he got contacted by the United States Secret Service to start an investigation. The complaint noted that the Banana Fund Ponzi scheme was active from 2016 to 2018. After receiving signals that the administrator of the project could be deceiving investors, the USSS started tracing the alleged operations and fund distributions.
The agency managed to locate a crypto account with 482 bitcoins and tethers worth about $5.5 million. When located the digital assets, the USSS executed a seizure warrant on the funds and commenced the actions to start returning the funds to the victims. It’s unknown how long the investigation was ongoing as the Special Agent in Charge of the USSS’s San Francisco Field Office Thomas Edwards saying that the actions by the agency prevented the subject from liquidating the obtained funds for personal gains.
He added that cybercriminals rely on sophisticated techniques to scam victims to invest in suspicious operations which are an example of the strength of the US law enforcement agencies and the DOJ computer crime and intellectual property section.
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