The Spanish police detained four people of different nationalities this week for allegedly running a $15 million crypto Ponzi scheme. According to the police, “many victims” filed a complaint against them.
Victims Believed Their Bitcoins Went to a Legit Company
According to Policia Nacional, the four accused are Argentine, Spanish, and Italian nationals aged between 23 and 36. They persuaded the victims to transfer their bitcoin (BTC) to them by promising high returns.
The authorities say that around 380 BTC were scammed by the alleged fraudsters, which amount to approximately $15 million at the current BTC price. The victims began to suspect that the four were running a pyramid scheme when they did not deliver on their promises.
The scammers did not have a website or a massive platform to attract people, relying mostly on verbal promotion. The fraudsters told their victims that their bitcoin was going to a company, which in fact did not exist. However, the police did not reveal the name of the fake company.
Police: There Could Be ‘Many More Victims’
The police report reveals that one of the fraudsters hid in Cuenca due to pressure from several victims who threatened to report him to the police. The report states:
Once detained, he was placed at the disposal of the investigating court acting as a guard in that city. The rest of the detainees were released after being heard in a statement at the Alicante police station.
Without disclosing the number of victims, the authorities confirmed that the investigation is ongoing because there could be “many other victims.”
In another Spanish crypto Ponzi scheme, the Arbistar case victims’ defense lawyer said in December 2020 that the scam had duped 32,000 families with at least 93.4 million euros ($113.55 million) in losses. Carlos Aránguez, a Spanish lawyer who represents 130 victims, pointed out that the magnitude of the disaster provoked by the Arbistar Ponzi scheme qualifies as the “biggest computer scam” in Spain.
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