Eight men have been arrested by law enforcement officers in Japan followed suspicions that they have been running a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme which has accumulated just under 8 billion yen from thousands of victims across the country.
According to a recent report from a local news outlet earlier this week the men involved were suspected by police of breaking the financial laws in the country by not registering their business with the proper authorities and using digital currencies to hide what they were doing.
The men had allegedly been touting a fraudulent investment company called Sener which was claimed to have been based in the United States. From February to May last year, the men extorted 29 million yen in cash from nine people in order to buy Bitcoins on ‘their’ behalf.
The group of men involved have collected most of the payments in Bitcoin as well as another 500 million yen in cash (over 4.4 million USD). Overall, 6,000 people were affected by the scheme.
At multiple seminars across the time period, the eight men were offering people monthly returns of up to 20 percent which includes rewards if they invited their friends and family to join in too.
Out of the eight, only six have actually pleaded guilty to the allegations while the remaining to two still claim they are innocent to the accusations.
This case comes following a number of recent reports of major crypto scams in the country. Two men were even sentenced in South Korea earlier in the year for running $20 million Bitcoin pyramid scheme.
China has seen similar cases as well. For example, 98 people were involved in the infamous onecoin scheme in which they were prosecuted in May this year for summing up to $2 billion from victims.