A 58-year-old Austrian and his 81-year-old father caused enormous damage amounting to 13 million euros throughout the EU with fraudulent Bitcoin trading. The men allegedly ripped off more than 100 victims to the tune of €13 million by promising high returns. The invested capital allegedly was dealt with by professional “traders” for trading on crypto exchanges.
The investors had also been promised a multi-level brokerage commission in a pyramid scheme if they made successful referrals among their acquaintances. The two men operated from January 2018 to mid-2019 via the distribution platform “CMC – Crypto Market Consulting” and from December 2018 to mid-2020 via the platform “Minerva Trading Bot,” causing €13 million in damages.
According to the Austrian police, it was also possible to track down eight other people who were allegedly involved in maintaining the pyramid scheme. The victims were mainly from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other EU countries. The Austrian police said that extensive investigations were still being conducted into the alleged accomplices.
Based on a European arrest warrant, the 58-year-old was arrested in Bulgaria last October and extradited to Austria. The fraudsters, active until 2020, have already been arrested and sentenced at the Vienna Regional Court. They were sentenced to four and a half years in prison and 30 months, respectively, on partial parole.