While pioneers see the Fintech world as a hotbed for innovation, some people see it as a mere opportunity for exploitation. Using blockchain tech, cryptocurrencies have been rolled out to the world more than a decade ago. Some viewed this as a leeway from the hindrance of the centralized system that the world is running on. However, taking advantage of the same, a few others sought easy money making ways. A 53-year old Bulgarian man is the latest to join the latter.
Multi-Million Dollar Money Laundering Ring Busted
As per a recent announcement by the United States Department of Justice, Rossen Iossifov was charged for running the fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange, RG Coins. The Bulgarian individual was presented in Frankfort, Kentucky before District Judge Robert E. Wier in a two-week trial for conspiracy to commit racketeering as well as money laundering. Seventeen other people were also convicted in this case while three others are still on the run.
Lossifov reportedly carried out the operation for about three years from September 2015 to December 2018. The sentencing is scheduled for 12 January 2021.
The announcement highlighted that the aforementioned convicts had lured over 900 Americans into taking part in a virtual auction fraud. False advertisements were reportedly their expertise as they convinced several American citizens to send in money for non-existent goods posted on eBay and Craigslist. The credibility of these goods was maintained by delivering invoices with trademarks of prominent companies. Call centers and customer support was also bestowed to strengthen the belief of these victims.
The announcement further read,
“[…]once victims were convinced to send payment, the conspiracy participants engaged in a complicated money laundering scheme wherein domestic associates would accept victim funds, convert these funds to cryptocurrency, and transfer proceeds in the form of cryptocurrency to foreign-based money launderers.”
Since all the proceeds of the aforementioned hoax were converted into Bitcoin, Iossifev exchanged them to the local fiat currency. More than $4.9 million worth of Bitcoin was exchanged by the Bulgarian man during the span of the fraudulent activities.