Estonia Arrests $575 Million Crypto Fraud Suspects With US Cooperation

Estonia arrests $575 million crypto fraud suspects with US cooperation. Law enforcement officials from Estonia and the United States have arrested two men for allegedly committing a major cryptocurrency fraud. Citizens of Estonia, who run crypto-mining projects and fake cryptocurrency banks, pay their earnings, invest in cars and real estate, and donate to politicians .

Estonian police and the FBI have jointly arrested Crypto frauds

The Estonian National Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have arrested two Estonian citizens, who are suspected of fraud involving cryptocurrency and money laundering. The United States is now seeking their release. Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin, both 37, were accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of people, Estonian public broadcaster Eesti Rahvusringhäsling (ERR) reported. They were arrested after conducting a joint investigation on Sunday November 1. 20.

Some of the victims were made to enter into fraudulent equipment rental agreements with their miners called Hashflare. Others invested in Polybius Bank, a virtual money bank that was not a bank and did not pay the promised fees.

According to a statement from the Department of Justice in the United States, investors paid more than $ 575 million to the platforms established by the couple, who then made their profits through shell companies and used some of the money to buy real estate in Estonia and luxury cars. Potapenko and Turõgin tried to hide more money in bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets around the world. The US authorities in Estonia are trying to seize and hold these assets, said US Attorney Nick Brown for the Western District of Washington, who also pointed out: “The size and scope of the alleged scheme is truly astounding. These defendants capitalized on both the allure of cryptocurrency and the mystery surrounding cryptocurrency mining, to commit an enormous Ponzi scheme.”

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Crypto system described as one of the biggest scams in Estonia

The Estonian police and the FBI worked together, with 100 police officers, including more than a dozen agents of the United States federal government, involved in the investigation, which the head of the National Criminal Police’s Cybercrime Bureau of Estonia, Oskar Gross, described as “tall and big”. According to ERR, he said: “The sheer volume of this investigation is described by the fact that this is one of the largest fraud cases we’ve ever had in Estonia.”

“Technology has increased the possibility of fraud and before handing over money to a company or individual, sufficient information should be collected properly,” said state attorney Vahur Verte, who warned people to be careful their money.

On Tuesday, regional media also revealed that Potapenko and Turõgin were among the biggest donors to Estonian politician and lawmaker Raimond Kaljulaid during his campaign for a seat in the European Parliament in 2019. Kaljulaid, who received €12,500 from them, said he only learned about their involvement this week. crypto fraud.

“There are many legitimate ways to turn cryptocurrencies into a business, but choosing shortcuts through deception or nonsense is not the way to do it,” insisted Oskar Gross. The case is not the first crypto-related crime in Estonia, ERR said in its report. In October, Estonian police arrested suspects connected to the Dagcoin crypto investment scam.

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