Crypto fraud continues to escalate in South Korea – where a scammer aged over 60 has been given a six-year jail term for duping victims into investing in a sham stablecoin.
Segye Ilbo reported that an unnamed individual in their sixties – named for legal reasons as A – was imprisoned on charges of violating the Act on Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Criminals at a branch of the Busan District Court.
The court heard that A orchestrated an elaborate scam from July 2018 to November 2019, cheating 35 individuals out of thousands of USD worth of investments.
A created a company, based in the city of Busan, and then proceeded to hold “investor briefing sessions” around the city in a bid to drive up interest in the firm.
The court heard that the sexagenarian claimed:
“We have developed a stablecoin that will be listed on a leading domestic exchange in August 2019, and buying coins before it is listed will let you make profits of over x10.”
A also claimed that that their firm had “developed an ATM” that was capable of “exchanging currencies from all over the world.”
South Korean Crypto Scammers: Multiple Generations Involved
A further recruited their son and brother to join the scam, “taking on roles” that included “recruiting new investors.”
A was able to trick the investors to make a total of 158 payments to the firm.
A then proceeded to spend investors’ funds on real estate investments made “under their own personal name.” In classic Ponzi style, A also used newer investors’ money to issue payouts to earlier-stage investors – helping create the impression that some investments were indeed paying dividends.
The presiding judge criticized A’s nefarious “methods,” calling the crimes “systematic” and “repeated.”
Earlier this month, three South Korean individuals in their 30s who established a bogus crypto exchange and duped victims out of over $61,000 were given prison sentences. The court in Seoul heard the trio hoodwinked investors with promises of Rolex watches and etheruem (ETH) giveaways.