The Chinese Ministry of Public Security has arrested 109 individuals connected to the PlusToken scam.
According to local Chinese news outlet CLS.CN, 27 individuals who played a major role and 82 key members of the PlusToken Ponzi scheme have been arrested, bringing the pyramid scheme with allegedly 3,000 levels to an end.
What is PlusToken?
PlusToken launched in early 2018 as a digital currency wallet, and its team promised users that they would earn high returns if they purchased PLUS tokens.
Authorities said 180,000 BTC, 6,400,000 ETH, 111,000 USDT, and 53 OMG tokens were sent from individuals’ digital currency wallets to the PlusToken wallet. However, PlusToken wallet users quickly learned that they could not withdraw any of the funds that they deposited into their wallets. Authorities said roughly 2 million victims lost an estimated $5.8 billion worth of digital currency from the alleged scam.
A Chainalysis report indicated that the PlusToken team transferred roughly 800,000 ETH and 45,000 BTC to addresses that they owned so that they could liquidate their holdings. According to Chainalysis, the PlusToken team used digital currency mixers like Wasabi Wallet to obfuscate their paper trails and then laundered the stolen funds through independent OTC brokers.
Authorities have been investigating PlusToken ever since news broke that the company was allegedly defrauding individuals. In July 2019, authorities arrested 6 individuals that were believed to be affiliated with the scam; however, a majority of the individuals were still on the run at the time. But now that a majority of the most important individuals associated with PlusToken have been arrested, it looks like the Ponzi scheme will no longer live on.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.