The revelation that Bitcoin company OneCoin was a billion Yuan Ponzi scheme rocked the cryptocurrency world. Authorities all over the world have conducted joint operations to facilitate exhaustive searches in an attempt to apprehend those responsible for the massive scam. So far, the result has been moderately productive.
The judiciary branch of the Zhozhou County of China has examined over 100 people, officially prosecuting 98 and recovering around $266 million in stolen capital. But the judiciary has been slow to dull out prosecutions for the last four suspects in the massive case. This past week, news reports dictate that the prosecutors have successfully levied charges against these final four scammers, and are currently building a substantive case against them.
The country has already been able to reclaim over $30 million in 2016 alone from professionals while investigating the extensive scheme. These latest apprehensions promise to help authorities begin to better understand the nature of the pyramid scheme that defrauded millions of investors.
OneCoin Scam Details
Some sources immediately spotted the sour realities behind the pyramid scheme. Cointelegraph issued an official warning to potential investors, deeming it a likely scam. The Marketing pyramid scam functioned by conniving investors, convincing them to invest in the newly-created coin by deceiving them about its worth.
As more investors came into the market, the scam continued to amass wealth through its deception and lies. But eventually it was revealed that the actual worth of the coins minted by the company was seriously inflated to the gain of the executives in charge, and at the expense of the defrauded shareholders.
For some shareholders who were in on the scam, the objective was simple: recruit as many people as possible. As more underlings pour their own funds into the currency, it raises in worth. The eventual goal was to sell chips for far more than they would have eventually been.
One by one, authorities all over the world levied charges and litigation against the company. In addition to China’s extensive investigations, litigations, and charges against the operatives in their own borders, Italy slapped a 2.5 million Euro fine on OneCoin scam following its classification as a pyramid scheme by Italy’s Antitrust and Consumer Protection Authority.
So far, Chinese prosecutions have resulted in litigation filed against defendants in over 20 Chinese provinces. Charged individuals have seen up to 5 million Yuan in fines and up to four years in prison each.
But prosecution of this massive scandal is a continuing process, and it is far from over. A vast and entangled web of connected accounts and pooled funds muddy the waters for any investigator looking to gain a deep understanding of this very complicated scheme.
It is incredibly likely that the country’s authorities will need to cooperate with outside entities while traveling down the rabbit hole of criminality that characterizes the OneCoin scam.
As the story develops, the progress of prosecutors going after these scammers is of supreme importance to a cryptocurrency community struggling to fight against fraud.