Terra co-founder sought for arrest

South Korean authorities are intensifying their efforts to track down and arrest Shin Hyun-Seong, also known as Daniel Shin, co-founder of cryptocurrency platform Terra. This follows the recent arrest of his fellow co-founder, Do Kwon, who was detained in Montenegro while attempting to board a plane using fake travel documents.

The authorities have suspected the involvement of numerous Terra colleagues in promoting unstable investment opportunities with Terra (LUNA) and TerraUSD (UST) tokens since November 2022. However, with Kwon’s arrest on March 23, 2023, they are now making a fresh attempt at Shin’s arrest, according to a Bloomberg report. The prosecutors are reportedly undertaking a renewed push to detain Shin, but no official announcement has been made public in this regard.

Authorities have previously alleged that Shin earned roughly $105 million in profits from illegal sales of LUNA tokens before Terra’s collapse. However, Shin claims to have had no involvement in Terra after January 2020, as evidenced by his LinkedIn profile. Nonetheless, arrest warrants have been sought for Shin, along with three investors and four engineers, on charges of fraud, breach of duty, violation of capital markets law, and illegal fundraising.

Meanwhile, Kwon remains detained in Montenegro after being caught with fake travel documents. While his legal representative claims that there was no intended use of fake documents, the Montenegrin court approved the extension of Kwon’s detention by 30 days upon request by the authorities. Kwon’s identity was not clearly identified, and he is considered a foreign national.

Terra, founded in 2018, is a blockchain-based platform that enables users to transact with stablecoins backed by fiat currencies. The platform’s main token, LUNA, has seen significant growth in recent years, with a market capitalization of over $20 billion as of March 2023. However, the platform has also been the subject of controversy, with allegations of insider trading and market manipulation.

The case against Terra’s co-founders and colleagues underscores the risks and challenges associated with investing in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. As the market continues to evolve and attract greater scrutiny from regulators and law enforcement agencies, investors must exercise caution and due diligence to protect their interests.

Source

Tagged : / / / / /

Former OneCoin Executive Charged with Fraud

The United States Department of Justice has charged Irina Dilkinska, a former executive of the fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin, with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Dilkinska, who was extradited from Bulgaria, now faces up to 40 years in prison for her alleged role in aiding the laundering of over $400 million of OneCoin’s proceeds.

OneCoin was a cryptocurrency scheme that has been accused of being a Ponzi scheme and a fraudulent operation. The scheme was founded in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova, who was later indicted by the US government for her role in the scheme. Ignatova is currently a fugitive, and her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme.

Dilkinska was OneCoin’s former head of legal and compliance and is accused of aiding in the laundering of OneCoin’s proceeds. According to the Department of Justice, Dilkinska allegedly destroyed incriminating evidence and sent incriminating messages upon hearing of a co-conspirator’s arrest. Each count of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.

The OneCoin scheme has been accused of defrauding investors of billions of dollars, and the US government has been actively pursuing legal action against those involved in the scheme. The scheme operated by convincing investors to buy OneCoin tokens, which were then traded on the OneCoin exchange. However, the exchange was found to be fraudulent, and the tokens were worthless.

The OneCoin scheme has been the subject of numerous investigations and legal actions around the world. In addition to the charges against Dilkinska and Ignatova, several other individuals have been indicted in connection with the scheme. The US government has also seized millions of dollars in assets and bank accounts connected to the scheme.

The case against Dilkinska is another example of the US government’s commitment to pursuing those involved in fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes. The government has been increasing its efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry and crack down on fraudulent schemes in recent years. The Department of Justice has created a cryptocurrency enforcement framework to help prosecutors identify and investigate cryptocurrency-related crimes.

In conclusion, the charges against Dilkinska highlight the ongoing legal action against those involved in the OneCoin scheme. Dilkinska faces a potential prison sentence of up to 40 years for her role in aiding the laundering of OneCoin’s proceeds. The case is another example of the US government’s efforts to crack down on fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes and regulate the cryptocurrency industry.

Source

Tagged : / / / / /

Singapore authorities investigate Terraform Labs

Since Do Kwon and Terraform Labs were accused of engaging in fraudulent activity by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a month ago, the authorities in Singapore have begun an investigation into the firm that Kwon helped build, Terraform Labs. According to the allegations made in the action brought by the SEC, Kwon stole about 10,000 bitcoin from the Terra platform and the Luna Foundation Guard, which he then turned into fiat currency. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asserts that Kwon has cleaned more than one hundred million dollars’ worth of bitcoins since the original collapse of the site.

An email issued by the Singaporean police on March 6 said that “investigations have began in respect to Terraform Laboratories,” as stated in a report by Bloomberg. In addition, the email said that the investigations are “ongoing,” and that Kwon is not in the city-state at the present time.

Several participants in the cryptocurrency industry have voiced their disapproval of the case on the grounds that it might pave the way for the SEC to target stablecoins in future litigation. The comparisons of assets made by the SEC have even been described as “wild” by lawyers working in the business.

The beginning of this whole affair can be traced back to May 2022, when the stablecoin known as Terra USD (UST) was unpegged from the US dollar. The following demise of the Terra ecosystem was responsible for a huge implosion in the market for digital assets, which resulted in losses of approximately $40 billion.

Authorities in South Korea have also conducted an investigation into Terraform Laboratories, and a warrant has been issued for Kwon’s arrest in that country. In an attempt to identify Kwon, South Korean law enforcement officers headed to Serbia. On February 15, South Korean prosecutors filed a warrant to arrest a local e-commerce executive who they accused of taking Terra (LUNA) in exchange for promoting Terra Labs. The executive was suspected of receiving the payment for marketing Terra Labs.

As at the time this article was written, Kwon has not made any comments. During the whole of the incident, the co-founder of Terraform Labs has been quite active on social media. On the other hand, it is the beginning of February and he has not tweeted since then.

Source

Tagged : / / / / /

Forsage Founders Indicted for Alleged $340 Million “Global Ponzi” Scheme on Ethereum Blockchain

A federal grand jury in the District of Oregon has handed down indictments against the individuals who are believed to have been the masterminds behind the “global Ponzi” scam known as Forsage, which is said to have generated $340 million.

According to a statement released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on February 22, the four Russian founders, Vladimir Okhotnikov, Olena Oblamska, Mikhail Sergeev, and Sergey Maslakov, have been formally accused of having key roles in the scheme that raised approximately $340 million from victim-investors. This information comes from the formal accusation.

U.S. Attorney Natalie Wight for the District of Oregon stated that “today’s indictment is the result of a rigorous investigation that spent months piecing together the systematic theft of hundreds of millions of dollars.” She also stated that “bringing charges against foreign actors who used new technology to commit fraud in an emerging financial market is a complicated endeavor only possible with the full and complete coordination of multiple law enforcement agencies.”

Forsage promoted itself as a low-risk, decentralized financial platform that was based on the Ethereum blockchain and offered customers the opportunity to create passive income over the long term. Blockchain analytics, on the other hand, allegedly shown that eighty percent of Forsage “investors” got back less money than they had initially contributed.

Analysis of the smart contracts, as reported by the Department of Justice (DOJ), indicated that monies that were obtained when new investors acquired “slots” in Forsage’s smart contracts were routed to older investors, which is consistent with the definition of a “Ponzi scheme.”

Forsage has an active Twitter account, on which they recently posted a thread saying that community members who take part in “The Ambassador Program” will be able to receive monthly incentives by accomplishing certain activities. The tweet was published on February 22.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges of fraud and selling unregistered securities against the company’s four founders and seven promoters on August 1. At the time, acting chief of the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit Carolyn Welshhans said: “Fraudsters cannot circumvent the federal securities laws by focusing their schemes on smart contracts and blockchains.”

Back in 2020, the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission had also raised concerns about Forsage, indicating that it may be a Ponzi scheme. However, one month later, the platform remained the second-most popular decentralized application (DApp) on the Ethereum blockchain.

When a prosecutor brings criminal charges against an individual or group and accuses them of committing an offense, this is referred to as a charge. However, an indictment is filed by a grand jury if prosecutors are successful in persuading a majority of the grand jury members that a formal accusation is warranted following an investigation.

The use of grand juries is widespread practice in the prosecution of significant federal and state criminal crimes.

Source

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

Former FTX CEO’s attorneys agree to pay for security expert to assist

The attorneys who are defending former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have come to an agreement to foot the bill for a security expert who will assist the federal judge who is presiding over his fraud case in navigating modern encryption technology. This will help the judge decide whether or not to modify Bankman-bail Fried’s conditions.

On February 21, attorneys Christian Everdell and Mark Cohen of Bankman-Fried issued a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan in which they expressed their agreement with his suggestion that he get assistance from a technical specialist.

The letter states that “the defense has already begun researching and contacting possible experts and anticipates being able to propose one or more potential candidates to the court by the end of this week.” The letter also states that “the defense has already begun researching and contacting possible experts.”

At a bail hearing that took place a week ago, Judge Kaplan indicated that bail conditions should be increased when it was determined that Bankman-Fried had been accessing the internet using a virtual private network (VPN) (virtual private network).

It is common practice to use a virtual private network, often known as a VPN, in order to alter one’s internet protocol (IP) address, to provide an extra layer of protection to one’s communications, or to access information that is prohibited under authoritarian regimes.

The court has been attempting to find a middle ground between granting Bankman-Fried access to communication channels so that he may prepare his case and preventing the abuse of messaging applications and privacy software.

Judge Kaplan has placed a temporary prohibition on Bankman-Fried using any virtual private network (VPN) or encrypted chat applications until his bail conditions have been resolved.

The technical expert will assist the court in navigating challenges relating to encrypted communications, messaging programs that prioritize privacy, and virtual private networks (VPNs).

Bankman-Fried and his counsel claim that he utilized the virtual private network (VPN) on two separate occasions: first to watch the NFL playoffs on January 29 and another time to watch the Super Bowl on February 12.

The prosecution has requested that Bankman-access Fried’s to the internet and other chat platforms be severely restricted as a condition of his release on bail. They also said that the usage of a virtual private network (VPN) “created various possible issues” about the potential access to cryptocurrency sites that had prohibited users from the United States.

Source

Tagged : / / / / / /

Eddy Alexandre Pleads Guilty to Commodities Fraud

In a New York district court, Eddy Alexandre, the CEO of a putative cryptocurrency trading platform known as EminiFX, pled guilty to commodities fraud. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to pay back millions of dollars to investors who had lost money due to his “cryptocurrency investment hoax.”

On February 10, the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States of America made the announcement that Alexandre had pleaded guilty to one count of commodities fraud. Alexandre will pay approximately $248 million in forfeiture in addition to restitution, the amount of which has not yet been determined.

In May, Alexandre was arrested and prosecuted for his part in EminiFX. He first pled not guilty to the charges, but on February 10 he changed his plea to guilty. He might get a term of up to ten years in jail if convicted.

Between approximately September 2021 and May 2022, Alexandre allegedly ran the crypto and forex trading platform and “solicited more than $248 million in investments from tens of thousands of individual investors,” as stated by Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

According to Williams, Alexandre claimed that EminiFX could provide “monthly returns of at least 5%,” but in fact, the CEO didn’t invest a “significant amount” of the money and “even utilized some funds for personal expenditures.” Williams alleged that Alexandre lied about EminiFX.

He promoted EminiFX as a platform for earning passive income by virtue of its use of a top-secret new technology for automating trading in crypto and foreign currencies, which allegedly “guaranteed” the returns on investment that were advertised.

Alexandre avoided answering the investors’ questions on the nature of the technology but assured them that they would see a return on their investments in just five months. Investors in the scam were given misleading information to the effect that they had obtained the promised 5% returns on their investments.

In point of fact, Alexandre lost tens of millions of dollars on the cash that he did invest; nevertheless, he did not make this information known to the investors.

He also transferred over 14.7 million dollars to his own personal bank account, spent approximately 155,000 dollars on the purchase of a BMW, and more than that amount on the monthly payments for a Mercedes-Benz.

Despite the fact that Alexandre committed fraud, he retained the support of a number of the investors in EminiFX.

According to a story published on the 10th of August by Bloomberg, a few individuals flew from outside the country to attend a plea hearing in August. One of Alexandre’s supporters said that the prosecution against him was racially motivated.

In addition to this, he is being sued in a separate civil case by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which claims that Alexandre engaged in “fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation” in connection with cryptocurrency and foreign exchange trading.

Source

Tagged : / / / / /

Ishan Wahi pleads guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud

Ishan Wahi, a former product manager at Coinbase Global Inc., has entered a guilty plea to two charges of conspiracy to conduct wire fraud in a case that has been dubbed the first insider trading case using bitcoin by the prosecution in the United States.

According to a story that was published by Reuters on February 7th, the authorities are alleging that Wahi gave sensitive information to his brother Nikhil and friend Sameer Ramani, including upcoming announcements of new digital assets that Coinbase customers will be able to trade. The announcement resulted in a subsequent increase in the value of assets, which made it possible for Nikhil and Sameer Raman to create illegal profits of at least $1.5 million. Nikhil Wahi and Ramani are accused of utilizing Ethereum blockchain wallets to buy digital assets and engaging in trade prior to the notifications made by Coinbase.

Ishan Wahi confessed at the hearing on February 7 in a Manhattan federal court that he knew Sameer Ramani and Nikhil Wahi would use such information to make trading choices. The hearing took place in a federal court. He continued by saying, “It was inappropriate to misappropriate and spread Coinbase’s property.”

Ishan Wahi has reached a bargain with the prosecution in which he would serve between 36 and 47 months in jail in exchange for his guilty plea. The date set for his hearing to determine his sentence is May 10th. According to reports, Coinbase provided the authorities with the results of an internal investigation company had conducted into the trade.

Due to the fact that Nikhil Wahi benefited approximately $900,000 from his illegal actions, U.S. prosecutors recommended that he serve a jail term ranging from ten to sixteen months in prison. This recommendation was made because of the fact that he engaged in illegal activity. However, his defense attorneys offered an alternate verdict, arguing that the man’s motivation for the act was to reimburse his parents for the money they had put into his college degree and that the man did not have a history of committing any other crimes.

Source

Tagged : / / / / / / /

Webaverse Co-Founder Reveals $4 Million Crypto Hack

After having a meeting with con artists who pretended to be investors in a hotel lobby in Rome, the co-founder of the Web3 metaverse gaming engine known as “Webaverse” has stated that the company was the victim of a $4 million crypto heist.

According to the co-founder Ahad Shams, the most peculiar feature of the incident is the fact that the cryptocurrency was taken from a Trust Wallet that had just been set up and that the hack took place at some time during the meeting.

He asserts that the burglars had no way of knowing the private key since he was not linked to a public WiFi network at the time and they would not have had access to it.

Shams thinks that the burglars were able to access the wallet while she was photographing the contents of the wallet to record the amount.

The letter, which was published on Twitter on February 7 and comprises testimonies from Webaverse and Shams, explains that they met with a guy called “Mr. Safra” on November 26 after many weeks of negotiations regarding the possibility of receiving funds.

Shams provided the following explanation: “We communicated with ‘Mr. Safra’ by email and video chats, and he stated that he wanted to invest in interesting Web3 startups.”

“He explained that he had been scammed by people in crypto before, and so he collected our IDs for KYC, and stipulated as a requirement that we fly into Rome to meet him because it was important to meet IRL to ‘get comfortable’ with who we were each doing business with,” he added. “He explained that he had been scammed by people in crypto before.”

Even though Shams was initially skeptical, he agreed to meet “Mr. Safra” and his “banker” in person in the lobby of a hotel in Rome. During this meeting, Shams was supposed to show “Mr. Safra” the “proof of funds” for the project, which “Mr. Safra” claimed he needed in order to begin the “paperwork.””

“Despite the fact that we reluctantly agreed to the Trust Wallet ‘evidence,’ we went ahead and set up a brand new account for Trust Wallet at home on a device that we don’t often use when interacting with them. Our logic led us to believe that even if we lost our private keys or seed phrases, the monies would still be secure “explained Shams.

When we first got together, the three of us sat across from each other and put four million USDC into the Trust Wallet. “Mr. Safra” requested to see the current balances on the Trust Wallet app, at which point he pulled out his phone and pretended to “shoot some photographs.”

Shams clarified that he was of the opinion that everything was above board since “Mr. Safra” did not have access to any private keys or seed phrases.

But as “Mr. Safra” left the conference room, ostensibly to confer with his other banking colleagues, he vanished without a trace and was never seen again. Then Shams saw the disappearance of the cash.

“We were never able to locate him again. After a few minutes, the money was gone from the wallet.

Shams reported the theft to a local police station in Rome almost soon after it occurred, and a few days later she sent an Internet Crime Complaint (IC3) form to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.

Source

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Reach Agreement with Federal Prosecutors

The attorneys for Sam Bankman-Fried have struck a settlement with the federal prosecutors who are investigating his usage of chat applications.

SBF “must not utilise any encrypted or ephemeral call of messaging programme, including but not limited to Signal,” according to a document filed with the court on February 6. This agreement was reached between both sides.

However, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the former CEO of FTX will be permitted to use FaceTime, Zoom, iMessage, SMS text, email, and Facebook Messenger.

Additionally, he will be permitted to use the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp; but, this privilege will be contingent upon the installation of monitoring gear on his mobile device “that automatically records and retains all WhatsApp interactions.”

The most recent deal is the result of efforts made by federal prosecutors before the end of January to prevent SBF from contacting current or former workers of FTX or its sibling trading business, Alameda Research.

Specifically, on January 15, prosecutors made the allegation that SBF had sought to “influence” the testimony of FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller via the use of the encrypted communications software Signal.

On the 30th of January, it was also alleged that SBF had contacted FTX CEO John Ray in order to investigate methods in which business monies that were related to Alameda wallets might be accessed.

As things stand, a ruling from February 1 states that in order for SBF to remain free on bail until his trial, he is not allowed to communicate with current or former employees of FTX or Alameda Research “except in the presence of counsel.” This restriction applies to all interactions with such individuals.

Since the end of December, SBF has been placed under house arrest in Palo Alto, California, and the beginning of his criminal trial in federal court in Manhattan is slated to take place in the month of October.

In the meanwhile, the district court in Delaware is making progress with the bankruptcy procedures for FTX. The Chief Executive Officer of FTX, Ray, gave evidence in court on February 6 and recalled how challenging it was for him to take control of the firm in November.

Ray said that “not a single list of anything” pertaining to bank accounts, income, insurance, or people could be located at FTX, which caused a frantic and disorganised search for information to take place.

FTX fell victim to hackers on the same day that he started directing the company through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedures.

“Those hackers continued on almost all night long. It was truly 48 hours of what I can only characterise as utter horror,” he added. “Those hacks went on basically all night long.”

Source

Tagged : / / / / / / /

3 Website Operators Lured Romance-Seeking Victims Into Their Fraud

The New Jersey Bureau of Securities has issued a cease and desist order to the owners of three websites, instructing them to stop attempting to con people who are looking for love into investing in their fraudulent cryptocurrency scams. The order was issued in response to the New Jersey Bureau of Securities’ discovery that the owners of these websites were targeting people who were looking for love. The New Jersey Bureau of Securities made the finding that the websites were specifically targeting persons who were interested in romantic relationships, which led to the issuance of the order. The New Jersey Bureau of Securities conducted an investigation into the websites in question, and based on the results of that investigation, the agency made the decision to issue the order.

The orders to cease and desist were reportedly sent to the firms Meta Capitals Limited, Cresttrademining Limited, and Forex Market Trade, as stated in a press release that New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin released on February 3rd. The office of the state’s Attorney General made the statement that was issued by Platkin available to the general public for viewing.

The three companies all pretended to be platforms for trading cryptocurrencies, and they convinced their customers that they would be able to significantly increase the amount of money that they had in their accounts if they simply replicated the actions taken by the “expert traders” employed by the companies. However, the customers lost all of their money because the companies were only pretending to be platforms for trading cryptocurrencies.

By contacting individuals who are using dating apps like Tinder to hunt for love connections, these organisations recruit fresh victims for a scam that is frequently referred to as “pig slaughtering.”

Con artists will contact prospective victims on social media, attempt to build a romantic relationship with them, and when they have gained the confidence of their victims, they will try to trick them into investing in a fake bitcoin investment plan. This kind of fraudulent behaviour that takes place online is referred to as “pig butchering,” and it has its own moniker.

Source

Tagged : / / / / / / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 44,004.79 5.50%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,297.03 2.77%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 73.89 1.50%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 252.33 1.70%