A cryptocurrency transaction went sour for a South Korean businessman, who reportedly lost $2.3 million in BTC after the offline peer-to-peer exchange he was dealing with allegedly gave him fake fiat currency.
According to reports, the Singapore-based victim, who runs a cryptocurrency firm, planned to exchange his crypto holdings with two Serbian buyers in a luxury hotel in Nice, France in July. The businessman agreed to trade his BTC for €2 million ($2.3 million) in cash, only to find out that the buyer gave him ‘crude, photocopied’ counterfeit notes.
The victim reported the incident to police, who were able to arrest one of the Serbian buyers, a man identified as Gerard Boudoux, at a five-star hotel in Cannes, France. The suspect had in his possession a €100,000 watch and a luxury car, authorities said.
Boudoux is facing charges of fraud and belonging to an organized crime group. Police are still searching for his accomplice, according to reports.
Investigators said the victim became acquainted with the pair after they showed interest in investing in his business, which is based in Singapore. Their discussions then moved on to conducting the peer-to-peer offline exchange of cryptocurrency, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Offline transactions have become quite popular in the cryptocurrency market, as more people started opting for offline crypto-fiat peer-to-peer exchanges because they want instant cash or in some, more nefarious cases, they want to conduct illegal businesses.
In July, a woman called the Bitcoin Maven was arrested for conducting offline cryptocurrency change without a license. The woman, Lynn Tetley, had exchanged between $6 million and $9.5 million with customers from all over the world. During her course of business, federal authorities said Tetley engaged in illegal business activities. She pleaded guilty upon being taken to court and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
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