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109 suspects linked to PlusToken cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme arrested by Chinese authorities

While Chinese authorities have already arrested the leaders and core members of the cryptocurrency scam, the stolen funds have not yet been recovered.

Image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay

Wed, 05 Aug 2020, 06:55 am UTC

Chinese authorities have recently arrested more than a hundred people with suspected links to the PlusToken cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. Considered one of the largest scams in the cryptocurrency industry, authorities revealed that the perpetrators swindled almost $6 billion worth of investments from millions of investors.

Authorities under the command of China’s Ministry of Public Security have arrested 109 individuals involved with the PlusToken Ponzi scheme, according to Bitcoin.com. The suspects were allegedly involved in a multinational pyramid scheme that used various cryptocurrencies according to a report by the local news outlet CLS.

The 109 persons arrested by the police are composed of 27 alleged masterminds and 82 key members of the Ponzi scheme. “The arrest completely destroyed this huge multinational MLM organization network entrenched at home and abroad,” CLS reported.

According to ZDNet, it was previously suspected that around $3 billion worth of cryptocurrencies was stolen from four million users who became alarmed that they could no longer access their accounts when PlusToken operators performed an exit scam. However, the estimated value of the swindled funds has now been raised to more than 40 billion yuan or around $5.7 billion.

“Based in China, Plustoken presented itself as a cryptocurrency wallet that would reward users with high rates of return if they purchased the wallet’s associated PLUS cryptocurrency tokens with bitcoin or ethereum,” Chainalysis described its operation. Its operators claimed that returns come from mining, referral, and exchange profit.

PlusToken was marketed as a high-yield investment opportunity for cryptocurrency investors. With promised by monthly returns of between 9 and 18 percent, investors were encouraged to store their cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETC), and EOS on the platform.

It was revealed that most of PlusToken’s investors come from China and South Korea. Members were also encouraged to bring more investors into the platform so they can receive a commission, resulting in a massive Ponzi scheme.

While the suspected masterminds of the crypto scheme have already been arrested, the stolen funds are yet to be retrieved. Researchers say that the stolen cryptocurrencies are moved around in over 6,000 wallet addresses, a process that is likely aimed at obfuscating investigative efforts.

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