One of the biggest crypto scams of this generation is The PlusToken scam, a multinational pyramid network that originated in China and ended up netting more than $5.7 billion or 40 billion Chinese Yuan from victims throughout the globe.
Now, a November 19 judgment made public on Thursday from the Jiangsu Yancheng Intermediate People’s Court, has shed more light on the crypto assets seized by Chinese police related to the PlusToken case.
The assets seized by Chinese police from seven convicts during the crackdown include 194,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 487 million XRP, 6 billion DOGE, 79,581 BCH, and 213,724 USDT. At the time of writing, these assets are valued over $4 billion.
In the ruling, the court has said “the seized digital currencies will be processed pursuant to laws and the proceeds and gains will be forfeited to the national treasury.” However, it did not clarify how much of these assets have been or will be “processed” and how.
Previously, a report from local media outlet CLS revealed that the Chinese police had arrested 27 core members involved in the scam, in an operation led by the nation’s top police agency, the Ministry of Public Security. The investigation also led to the arrest of an additional 82 key members involved in the case.
As of now, the Yancheng Intermediate People’s Court has denied all the appeals from the convicts filed originally at a lower-level district court in the city of Yancheng in China’s Jiangsu province, and sided with the district court in the November 19 final judgment and disclosed details pertaining to the criminal case.
The biggest scam of this Decade
The latest ruling reveals that the scam originally started in May 2018 and showcased a non-existent crypto arbitrage trading platform. The platform boasted attractive daily payouts but required a deposit of at least $500 worth of crypto assets to be eligible for participation.
In between April 6, 2018, and June 27, 2019, the pyramid scheme duped more than 2.6 million members across 3,293 layers. Garnering more than 314,000 BTC, 117,450 BCH, 96,023 DASH, 11 billion DOGE, 1.84 million LTC, 9 million ETH, 51 million EOS, and 928 million XRP.
The ruling highlighted that even at the lowest prices at the said time, the crypto assets were worth at least more than 14.8 billion yuan, or $2.2 billion. The regulators have convicted 15 people so far and they are looking at a sentence between two to 11 years behind bars with fines between $100,000 to $1 million.
A convict was also successful in laundering more than 145 million yuan, or $22 million, worth of cryptocurrencies to Chinese yuan. Law enforcement was able to track approximately $19 million of those laundered funds, which had been used for purchasing luxury cars, two dozens of real estate properties in China as well as insurance policies in Hong Kong.