The owner of a cryptocurrency exchange, RG Coins, that laundered millions of dollars from fake online auctions faces a ten-year jail term.
Rosen Yosifov, the Bulgarian RG Coins owner, has been convicted of his role in laundering money from fraud victims and converting via cryptocurrency exchanges which is targeted to hide the criminal source of dirty money.
A Multimillion-dollar Criminal Scheme
According to the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the 53-year-old deliberately engaged in business practices to help con artists wash their fraud proceeds and prevent criminal liability.
This multi-million dollar criminal program started with criminals based in Romania carrying out a large-scale online auction scam involving at least 900 US citizens. Websites, including Craigslist and eBay, have been used to list high-priced items – usually vehicles – that aren’t there.
Once the victim wins the auction and pays for their item, these funds will be converted into cryptocurrency and passed on to money laundering.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, Yosifov is one of the money launderers who made the program’s final step possible. According to the DoJ, the Yosifov cryptocurrency exchange in Sofia, Bulgaria, has served at least five Alexandria Online Fraud Network (AOAF) customers and has provided a favourable exchange rate for criminal customers.
Prosecutors estimate that nearly $ 5 million worth of cryptocurrency got laundered on behalf of four AOAF customers in less than three years. When converted into fiat currency, it was almost $ 7 million stolen from US citizens alone.
Money laundering required a reduction because of the risks, and for his business, the owner of RG Coins made over $ 184,000. US District Court Judge Robert Weir sentenced Yosifov to 10 years in prison on conspiracy charges to commit crimes influenced by Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and money laundering conspiracy. Rosen must serve a minimum of 8.5 years in jail.
Crypto-Related Scams Are On the On the Rise
A Californian man who defrauded investors of $ 147 million in digital currency scams around the world of epic proportions faces a sentence of 10 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.
Steve Chen defrauded 72,000 investors worldwide. According to the US Attorney’s Office, he handed his company over to US Fine Investment Arts to extract amber and other gemstones from mines that do not exist in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Argentina in Central California.
Chen also sponsored the Ponzi program, which ran from July 2013 to September 2015, with a marketing program that compensated investors for recruiting other people with new payments from USFIA investors, prosecutors said.
A total of 17 AOAF members – including Bulgarian nationals – have been convicted, and seven others are also serving prison terms. Three members are on the run.