Four American citizens charged for allegedly opening shell bank accounts and companies for money laundering worth $80 million through pig butchering scams. Two of the perpetrators are facing 20 years of imprisonment.
Four US citizens are accused by the US Department of Justice of laundering more than $80 million from fraudulent cryptocurrency investments. The defendants allegedly established bank accounts and sham corporations to launder the illegal proceeds. Two suspects who have already been arrested are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, concealing money laundering, and international money laundering. They could get penalties of up to 20 years in jail.
The schemes, dubbed “pig butchering”, entail con artists reaching out to victims via social media or dating services, pretending to be other numbers, and gradually winning their trust. Fraudulent investing platforms restrict withdrawals and show fictitious earnings after the initial payments to entice users to invest more.
At least 284 transactions were part of the larger fraud scheme, which cost victims over $80 million in losses. Over $20 million was placed into accounts directly connected to the accused due to the transfers of funds to domestic and foreign financial institutions.
US authorities are working harder to stop money laundering connected to cryptocurrencies. Recently, Binance and federal prosecutors reached a $4.3 billion settlement to address anti-money laundering and sanctions laws violations. Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, admitted to money laundering and is awaiting punishment.
“Pig butchering” schemes continue to exist despite international warnings, highlighting the continued difficulties authorities encounter in stopping fraudulent activity in the cryptocurrency field.
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