- Four operators of the WoToken cryptocurrency scam which took $1.1 billion from victims have been sentenced
- The four men pleaded guilty to their roles in the Chinese scam and will spend a total of nine years in prison
- The scam was called PlusToken 2.0 because of its similarity to the giant scam
Four operators of the WoToken cryptocurrency scam will serve time in prison after their appeals were denied by a Chinese court. Li Qibing, Gao Yudong, Tian Bo and Wang Xiaoying will serve sentences ranging from 2 to 8 years for their parts in running the Ponzi scheme which managed to rake in 7.7 billion yuan ($1.15 billion) from victims.
$1.1 Billion Stolen From Victims
Court documents revealed that WoToken operated from July 2018 to October 2019, amassing an incredible 46,000 BTC; 2 million ETH; 292,000 LTC; 56,000 BCH; 684,000 EOS; and various other cryptocurrencies. The scale of the theft makes it one of the biggest crypto scams to date, hence why it was dubbed PlusToken 2.0.
The four men were considered the masterminds of the WoToken scam, touting it as a highly profitable trading platform when it was in fact a Ponzi scheme that paid old investors with new investors’ money. As well as sentencing the men, the court ordered Chinese authorities to seize 425 million yuan ($63.6 million) worth of cryptocurrencies from the WoToken wallets, leaving over half still unaccounted for.
AI Robotics Nothing But a Front
Law enforcement agencies were able to bring a halt to the scam in October last year, with six men arrested and put on trial in May, four of whom pleaded guilty and have now been sentenced after a lengthy delay. The web presence associated with WoToken, which suggested that the platform was connected to AI robotics, was merely a front for their illegal activities and conducted no actual business.