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The US government is targeting crypto scammers as market crashes

Even if you have not personally invested in crypto, you may be aware that the market is crashing. In response, the US government is going after scammers taking over the market.

Most people that invested in crypto did not plan to lose their money. However, the bitcoin market has been on a dip for a while, with investors counting their losses as they cannot stem the bleed. But now, the US wants to take action against scammers trying to illegally separate innocent investors from their money.

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Justice have each announced that they would go after people who are scamming millions and billions of dollars from crypto investors.

The CFTC, for example, is working on one of the largest fraudulent crypto scams in its history. The scheme involves fake apes. The agency is also investigating a case involving a player known as “the Cryptoqueen.”

The agency is also taking action against Mirror Trading International (MIT), operated by a South African named Cornelius Johannes Steynberg. According to the CFTC, MIT advertised that it had a bot that could invest bitcoins in opportunities hidden from individual investors. The company was able to get 29,000 bitcoins from people expecting to make a profit. MIT collapsed two years ago, with the value of the bitcoin worth more than $1.7 billion at a point.

The CFTC discovered that Steynberg and his company misappropriated the funds in their care. It was a multilevel marketing scheme or MLM. The agency wants to help the victims get their money back but has warned that the alleged fraudsters may not have sufficient funds and assets to refund everything they took. Steynberg has been detained in Brazil.

Similarly, the FBI is going after Ruja Ignatova, also known as the Cryptoqueen. Her name has been added to the bureau’s famous most-wanted fugitive list. She is wanted for her involvement in the OneCoin scam, which defrauded victims of up to $4 billion. Ignatova’s brother has already been arrested on charges related to the scheme. However, the FBI alleges that Ignatova helped convince people to invest in a crypto that never existed.

There is a $100,000 reward for information that helps to arrest Ignatova.

The DOJ has also filed charges in four different cases involving crypto fraud. One involves the Baller Ape Club, an NFT collection that the backer suddenly shut down after receiving $2.6 million from investors. They deleted the project’s website and tried to make the money disappear by passing it through multiple blockchains and services that criminals often use to mix different bitcoins.

Another DOJ case is a Ponzi scheme masquerading as a cryptocurrency investment platform. It raised about $100 million while claiming to be backed by companies like Apple and Disney. Like MIT, the scheme claimed it used bots to invest the funds in cryptos.

While crypto scams may not stop any time soon, the dropping prices may make the fraudsters slow down as investing in bitcoins becomes less attractive. This may happen as crypto-related companies report a loss of revenue and sack their workers to reduce overhead costs.

Written by HackerVibes

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