Igor Musatov, a retired Russian hockey star, is in custody as a result of his involvement in a Bitcoin scam.
The scam ultimately bereft at least one victim of some $700,000. Whether or not there were other victims may as well be left to the imagination, as one victim is enough to earn the athlete – and anyone else involved – some serious time in Russian prison.
Russian Hockey Star Nets $700,000 In Bitcoin Scam
According to authorities, Musatov talked a software entrepreneur into giving him the millions of rubles – which came out to about $700,000 if converted to dollars – in exchange for 103 BTC.
The entrepreneur gave Musatov the money, but didn’t immediately receive the coins. Remember kids: not your keys, not your coins.
Musatov roped the victim in by giving him an exceedingly low price – under $8,000, when BTC was still struggling to stay over $10,000.
After Musatov failed to ever deliver the BTC, the victim, who is identified only as “Abelyan V.M.” by Russian media and in official documents, contacted police. Police eventually arrested the retired hockey player, presuming that he had scammed the earnest entrepreneur of millions of rubles.
Thus far, there’s little evidence to the contrary.
The case is rather open and closed: the hockey star received the money but never delivered the Bitcoin.
Police Arrest Former Hockey Star
Unfortunately, cryptocurrency is supposed to be a precursor to a world where theft like this will not be as easy to conduct. Abelyan believed at the time that he was making a sound investment, and he probably had little reason to suspect a semi-famous retired hockey player would bilk him of a huge sum of cash.
Yet, that’s exactly what happened.
And once again: when it comes to crime, cash is king.
For many reasons, cryptocurrency is the least attractive way to hold stolen or otherwise illegal funds. Cash is quite preferable for criminals, and that won’t be changing just because cryptocurrency becomes more popular.