Chicago Trader Steals Over $2 Million in Bitcoin and Litecoin Cryptocurrency

Chicago Trader Steals Over $2 Million in Bitcoin and Litecoin Cryptocurrency

A Chicago dealer is dealing with as much as 20 years in jail for stealing over $2 million in Bitcoin and Litecoin cryptocurrency from his employer.

Most 24-year-olds could be fairly completely satisfied to be connected to a brand new cryptocurrency unit for a serious monetary entity. That’s not a foul profession path for somebody who beforehand labored as a cryptocurrency dealer in South Korea earlier than becoming a member of Consolidated Trading LLC to turn out to be an assistant bond dealer in July 2016. A brand new division seeking to dive into the burgeoning crypto world is a good stepping stone for transferring up. That is until that individual is a degenerate gambler. Such is the case of Joseph Kim, who stole over $2 million in Litecoin and Bitcoin cryptocurrency from his employer.

Stealing Begins Almost Immediately
The cryptocurrency group was created by Consolidated in September 2017, and Joseph Kim joined the unit someday throughout that month. He had his personal private cryptocurrency accounts, which he knowledgeable his employer of, and he was instructed to stop all private buying and selling to keep away from a battle of curiosity.
However, Kim transferred 980 litecoins (price $48,000) on a weekend shortly after becoming a member of the brand new unit. When a supervisor discovered, Kim mentioned he transferred the cash to a “private digital pockets for security causes” on account of points he was having with Bitfinex, the cryptocurrency change in Hong Kong. He then mentioned that the cash had been transferred to a Consolidated pockets (which was unfaithful).
In November, the dealer then despatched 55 bitcoins (worth of $433,000) from Consolidated into an unknown account. When confronted on this switch, Kim mentioned that the switch had been blocked and that he was taking steps to unblock it. He later despatched again 27 bitcoins into the company account, leaving 28 in his possession.
The Sizes Get Bigger
Eventually, Kim transferred 284 bitcoins (price $2.8 million) from the corporate’s account into a private pockets. He later despatched again 102 of these cash into the Consolidated account, after which he then transferred the remaining 182 cash into a special account. Of that final quantity, Kim misplaced a portion of it by personally buying and selling.

When ultimately confronted over all of the transfers, Kim admitted to investing in brief future positions utilizing 55 bitcoins. He continued stealing cryptocurrency from the corporate to cowl his margin calls, losses, and private investments. After being arrested, Kim mentioned that he was a degenerate gambler and admitted to changing the stolen Litecoin into Bitcoin for funding functions.
Eventually, Consolidated managed to recuperate roughly 144 bitcoins from Kim’s numerous private wallets. The monetary firm misplaced about $603,000 total from the rogue dealer’s playing habit.
In an e-mail to his superiors at Consolidated, Kim mentioned:
It was not my intention to steal for myself. I used to be perversely making an attempt to repair what I had already accomplished. I can’t imagine I didn’t cease.
Investment playing is actual, and cryptocurrency is only a new avenue for some to indulge within the apply. The US Attorney has charged Joseph Kim with wire fraud, which might web him as much as 20 years in jail. Kim has additionally made historical past, of a form. He’s the primary individual in Chicago to be charged with wire fraud with regard to cryptocurrency.
Do you assume that we’ll see extra circumstances of merchants pilfering cryptocurrency to gasoline their playing habit sooner or later? Let us know within the feedback beneath.

Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.
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Optioment Bitcoin Scam Triggers Europe-Wide Manhunt

Optioment Bitcoin Scam Triggers Europe-Wide Manhunt

After presumably 1000’s of buyers obtained burned by arbitrage-trading firm Optioment final yr, Austrian authorities have requested Interpol to assist monitor down the fraudsters chargeable for the Bitcoin rip-off.

Another Bitcoin Scam Burns Buyers
European authorities are on the hunt for criminals concerned in defrauding 1000’s of people and shedding over $100 million value of buyers’ Bitcoin.
According to experiences, Optioment ran a now-defunct web site whereas holding large-scale occasions in Austria — by which the corporate marketed itself as a “non-public Costa Rica-based Bitcoin fund” promising unrealistic returns. Law agency Lansky, Ganzger & Partner claims Optioment promised weekly curiosity funds upwards of 4 p.c on long-term Bitcoin deposits, with the added incentivization of inviting new customers.
Optioment apparently paid out returns on a well timed foundation in the beginning of its operation, which boosted investor confidence and inspired customers to reinvest within the scheme. Sometime across the huge bull run in November and December of final yr, nevertheless, the returns stopped coming, and the fraudulent scheme collapsed.
Spokeswoman Christina Ratz informed Bloomberg that prosecutors in Vienna are consolidating “tons of of complaints” in opposition to the fraudulent firm, and Die Presse initially reported that upwards of 10,000 people have been victimized, leading to roughly 12,000 misplaced bitcoins — at present value an estimated $118.5 million on the time of this writing.

According to Bloomberg, no arrests have but been made, however Interpol has been requested to analyze people in Denmark, Latvia, and Germany.
Reinforcing European Rhetoric
The hunt for Optioment’s operators comes at a time when some European nations are calling for a crackdown on cryptocurrency.
French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire and interim German Finance Minister Peter Altmaier have gone on document to state that cryptocurrencies are dangerous for buyers and threaten long-term international monetary stability.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has additionally expressed issues over cryptocurrency’s legal utilization, stating that she is trying “very significantly” at cryptocurrencies “due to the way in which they’re used, significantly by criminals.”

Additionally, European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch has just lately acknowledged that cryptocurrencies are “not cash, nor will they be for the foreseeable future.”
Most just lately, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) have additionally just lately issued a press launch warning shoppers of the risks related to shopping for cryptocurrency.
Do you assume scams like Optioment are completely damaging the repute of cryptocurrency in Europe and around the globe? Let us know within the feedback under!

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/@Plani and Bitcoinist archives.
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Bitcoin Scam Artist Who Conned $545Okay Arrested in UAE

Bitcoin Scam Artist Who Conned $545Okay Arrested in UAE

A Bitcoin rip-off artist within the United Arab Emirates who fleeced a sufferer of $545,000 was arrested, and the stolen cash was really recovered.

It appears that some new Bitcoin rip-off comes alongside each week. One current instance is of an individual claiming to be a crypto movie star who will ship you double the cryptocurrency you’ll ship to their pockets. Another is a straight theft of fiat that’s for use to buy cryptocurrency. It’s this latter case that we noticed occur as soon as once more, this time within the United Arab Emirates as a person stole $545,000 meant for use to purchase bitcoins.

A $545Okay Meeting in a Mall? Sounds Legit!
The Bitcoin rip-off occurred in a mall in Sharjah, UAE. An Indian nationwide agreed to satisfy with a person, recognized as a Pakistani nationwide, with the intention to purchase $545,000 value of bitcoins.
The sufferer had expertise in shopping for cryptocurrency on on-line buying and selling platforms. While looking out on-line for funding alternatives, he got here throughout the profile of a person who was providing a whole lot of bitcoins on the market. A gathering was organized with the scammer posing because the go-between for the net vendor and purchaser, and the sufferer introduced money to pay for the cash.
Once on the mall, the sufferer handed over the money, and the Bitcoin rip-off artist supposedly transferred over the agreed-upon quantity of bitcoins. Then the fraudster obtained a telephone name, supposedly from his spouse, and he advised the sufferer that he wanted to assist her out within the car parking zone. Needless to say, the rip-off artist didn’t return, and the bitcoins by no means reached the sufferer’s pockets.
A Happy Ending
Unlike another instances of Bitcoin crime, such because the Hong Kong dealer robbed of $180,000, this story has a cheerful ending. The police managed to establish the suspect and arrested him at his residence. Even higher was that many of the cash was with him.

The suspect made a full confession to the police. Of course, it didn’t assist his trigger to be discovered with a lot cash, to not point out receipts for transactions to the net vendor the sufferer had contacted. The police have referred the confessed felony over for public prosecution.
Luckily, no violence was concerned on this state of affairs. It bears repeating that it’s not a good suggestion to hold big sums of money to satisfy with somebody you actually don’t know. Criminals are profiting from people who find themselves determined to spend money on cryptocurrency.
Criminals will go to violent lengths with the intention to get their fingers on giant quantities of cryptocurrency or the chilly, onerous money used to purchase it. An alternate in Ottawa, Canada, was just lately attacked by three armed males, who tied up the workers earlier than finally fleeing. Another violent theft occurred in England the place 4 armed males broke right into a crypto dealer’s residence through the day. The criminals tied up the dealer’s spouse and put the couple’s child outdoors in a pram whereas they compelled him to switch a “fortune” in bitcoins over to them.
It at all times pays to be cautious. The loopy amount of cash related to cryptocurrency is a feeding floor for predators, so play it sensible.
Would you deliver $545,000 in money to a gathering with somebody you don’t know? Let us know within the feedback under.

Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.
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New Jersey Cracks Down on Fraudulent Bitstrade

New Jersey Cracks Down on Fraudulent Bitstrade

Following the fallout from fraudulent Ponzi-scheme Bitconnect’s demise, New Jersey has formally ordered cryptocurrency funding entity Bitstrade to cease providing unregistered and fraudulent securities within the state.

New Jersey regulators have uncovered one more fraudulent cryptocurrency funding firm.
The announcement comes by the use of Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs and has been ordered by the Bureau of Securities after an investigation discovered Bitstrade to be in violation of New Jersey’s Uniform Securities Law.

Bitstrade was discovered to have bought unregistered securities whereas guaranteeing upwards of 10 p.c day by day returns, regardless of missing a correct registration to promote securities in New Jersey.
Bitstrade additionally didn’t disclose what have been deemed “key materials info” to potential traders, together with an official deal with, the names of its government officers, the corporate’s monetary standing, potential dangers to traders, and the way traders’ cash is used. Attorney General Grewal said:
The Bureau’s motion at the moment reinforces our dedication to defending traders as they navigate the uncharted and largely unregulated area of cryptocurrency-related investments. We wish to be sure that traders tempted to money in on the cryptocurrency rage aren’t being lured into sending funds to an nameless web entity with out realizing the place the funds are going or how they’ll be used.
A go to to Bitstrade’s official web site signifies that every one indicators certainly result in a Ponzi scheme.
The firm claims to be registered within the United States and purports to ensure “excellent returns” by “working as an funding pool, amassing a number of decrease worth investments and grouping them into one single HUGE funding, utilizing these funds to commerce on the inventory market”—with none precise info as to how they use traders cash.

If it sounds too good to be true, it in all probability is. According to Sharon M. Joyce, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs:
What makes Bitstrade’s fraudulent provide doubtlessly extra dangerous for unsophisticated traders is that cryptocurrency is just about nameless, so there is no such thing as a recourse for traders to recoup their losses. We’re reminding traders to be further vigilant about absolutely vetting what’s being bought earlier than investing with cryptocurrency.
The Bureau moreover discovered Bitstrade’s Redland, California and Scottsdale, Arizona addresses to be falsified.
According to Christopher W. Gerold, Chief of the Bureau of Securities, “Bitstrade is a major instance of an organization in search of to capitalize on the cryptocurrency craze. Regulators, together with the Bureau, are actively responding to fraudulent crypto-cloaked securities choices.”
Bitstrade requires purchases be made with Bitcoin.
Do you assume Bitstrade is a Ponzi scheme? Do you agree that state regulators ought to actively attempt to forestall people from investing in fraudulent firms? Let us know within the feedback beneath!

Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives.
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Feds Seize $4.7 Million in Bitcoins in Fake ID Sting

Feds Seize $4.7 Million in Bitcoins in Fake ID Sting

Nearly $5 million price of Bitcoin utilized in a large-scale faux ID operation has been seized by federal authorities in Ohio.

Bitcoins for Fake IDs
According to the Associated Press, federal authorities in Ohio seized $4.7 million in bitcoins and hardware following an investigation right into a large-scale, on-line faux ID operation.
Toledo resident Mark Simon was arrested on February eighth for making and transferring falsified identification paperwork, after the investigation into quite a few faux IDs popping up round city launched in 2015.

Though the cryptocurrency was used to buy the falsified identification paperwork, the Bitcoin transactions themselves weren’t truly tracked. Rather, federal investigators adopted a path of Redditors, in the end resulting in Simon.
Gold and silver bars and cash had been additionally confiscated, together with $7,000 in money. The bitcoins had been saved on a USB thumb drive.
Simon has two accomplices, who haven’t but been arrested however are going through prices. As for Simon, he’s being charged with partaking in a sample of corrupt exercise, cash laundering, identification fraud, manufacture, switch, sale or distribution of false identification playing cards, telecommunications fraud, forgery, and possession of legal instruments.
Law Enforcement Stepping Up
Still, investigators have gotten an increasing number of adept at monitoring criminality using public ledgers, driving extra privacy-focused people to make use of “privateness cash” like Monero as a substitute. Said Riccardo Spagni, a core developer at Monero:
As a neighborhood, we definitely don’t advocate for Monero’s use by criminals. At the identical time in case you have a decentralised forex, it’s not like you possibly can stop somebody from utilizing it. I think about that Monero gives huge benefits for criminals over bitcoin, so they might use Monero.

Bitcoin has lengthy been criticized by would-be regulators and legislators as a method to launder cash, fund terrorists, and promote medicine. With extra mainstream acceptance and legislation enforcement investigators turning into an increasing number of blockchain savvy, Bitcoin—which makes use of a public ledger—will seemingly be taken out of the legal highlight as wrongdoers flip to much less trackable transactions.
What do you consider unlawful transactions utilizing Bitcoin? Do you suppose Bitcoin might be used much less and fewer for legal exercise sooner or later? Let us know within the feedback beneath!

Images courtesy of Pexels, Bitcoinist archives.
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Masked Gunmen Steal ‘Fortune’ in Bitcoin in Daylight UK Robbery

Masked Gunmen Steal ‘Fortune’ in Bitcoin in Daylight UK Robbery

The very first UK Bitcoin theft occurred when 4 armed males broke into a house and compelled a crypto dealer to switch a “fortune” in Bitcoin.

The meteoric rise of Bitcoin over the course of 2017 featured numerous constructive results. Lots of people made a great deal of cash, and media and public curiosity in cryptocurrency reached new heights. However, a draw back to such consideration is that criminals now see bodily stealing Bitcoin or cash used to purchase crypto as a viable option to earn a living. A household within the UK discovered this out the arduous means when 4 armed males broke into their residence and compelled the husband to switch his bitcoins.

Terrifying Ordeal
It’s being known as the primary Bitcoin theft within the UK, and it occurred in Moulsford, Oxfordshire, a rich enclave, in the course of the morning hours. The criminals broke into the house belonging to a cryptocurrency dealer and his household.
The criminals had been armed with handguns and carrying balaclavas. They tied up the dealer’s spouse and put the couple’s child outdoors in a pram earlier than forcing the dealer to switch over a “fortune” in bitcoins. (The precise quantity that was stolen has not been disclosed.)
The criminals then fled, and the police manhunt started instantly after. A police helicopter was utilized in an effort to find the hoodlums, however to no avail. Nearby faculties had been placed on lockdown. Police are asking for any digital camera footage that reveals 4 suspicious males within the space in the course of the early morning hours.
One girl apparently noticed the criminals. She describes:
I noticed 4 younger males in black tracksuits with the hoods pulled up, crossing the street to the property the place it occurred. They had been aged 18 to 25, dark-skinned and super-fit. They jumped over the fence on the opposite facet of the street. I didn’t see any gun, however that’s what folks domestically are saying – and that the lads wore balaclavas which I didn’t see both, simply the hoodies pulled up.

Media Hyperventilates on Bitcoin
Fortunately, nobody within the household was injured in the course of the Bitcoin theft. Since the media has no blood and gore to wheeze on about, they’re drudging again up the identical outdated drained speaking factors that Bitcoin is used primarily for illicit means.
Naturally, that is ludicrous because the blockchain is pure transparency. The UK-based cybersecurity agency Elliptic not too long ago launched a report that reveals lower than 1% of all Bitcoin transactions originate for prison causes. Of course, arduous details do little to hinder media hypothesis on Bitcoin and unlawful actions.
While the rise of cryptocurrencies is great, there’s a darkish facet. There’s been numerous latest prison assaults upon people with a connection to crypto. There has been a kidnapping and a number of accounts of robberies during the last month or so. Sadly, such situations are prone to proceed so long as cryptocurrencies proceed to achieve in worth.
Are you nervous concerning the seeming rise of Bitcoin robberies? What will be finished to cease them? Let us know your ideas within the feedback under.

Images courtesy of Pxhere and Bitcoinist archives.
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