- Six PlusToken scammers have been the first to be charged with offences relating to the scam
- The six were charged this week with their part as leaders of the pyramid scheme that stole some $6 billion worth of cryptocurrencies
- State of the remaining funds remains unknown
Six individuals associated with the PlusToken cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme have been charged with their roles in the $6 billion scam after the mass arrest of more than 100 people this year. In what represents the first charges relating to the scam which began in May 2018, the six suspects have been charged with “suspicion of organizing and leading criminal pyramid schemes.” With 27 executives arrested in July and another 82 promoters also apprehended recently, these cases will likely be far from the last associated with the PlusToken scam.
Hundreds of Arrests Worldwide
Chinese authorities announced the charges via a government website, saying only that Chen Shaofeng, Liu Hua will, Lv Qinghai, Jin Xinghai, Yin Wang, and Zhang Qin had been charged with helping to operate the pyramid scheme that ran from May 2018 to August 2019, taking in almost ₿200,000 and 6.4 million ETH.
PlusToken was Chinese in origin although the bulk of the operations were carried out overseas, with what seems to have been the nerve center on the island of Vanuatu off Australia’s east coast raided in July 2019. There, six individuals were arrested (not those who have been charged), with the information gleaned by Chinese investigators leading to hundreds of further arrests in 2020.
Fate of PlusToken Funds Unknown
Large PlusToken selloffs were associated with market-wide dumps in 2019 and 2020, but with no movement from PlusToken wallets since June, it appears that the scammers might finally have lost access to their ill-gotten gains. What happens to the funds now is unknown, especially if no one can access them, with authorities unlikely to be able to get access without help from the scammers.