South Korean police nab fraudsters in $4.1m crypto scam

South Korean police apprehended a pair of fraudsters who stole 5.5 billion won ($4.1 million) from a senior man under the guise of profitable crypto investments.

The Haeundae Police Station in Busan, South Korea, caught two people in their 20s and 30s for defrauding a senior citizen and taking 5.5 billion South Korean won in various transactions.

According to a local source, the victim was promised significant profits on cryptocurrency investments from September to December 2022.

The scammers guaranteed 70% earnings for a monthly investment of 1 billion won. The police quoted the scammers as saying:

“It’s a boom period for coin (cryptocurrency). If you invest 1 billion won, I will call it 1.7 billion won a month later.”

The victim handed the scammers 5.5 billion won in total across six transactions, which they subsequently falsified balance certificates to use as proof of investment.

During the scam, the victim was provided fake balance sheets for cryptocurrency investments and real estate contracts.

South Korean police claimed the fake balance sheet showed 20 billion won in cryptocurrency, despite the fact that none of the victim’s 5.5 billion won funds were sent to the crypto trading account.

Although the fraudsters have been apprehended promptly by the police, details regarding the funds’ recovery have not been disclosed to the public.

Meanwhile, Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, South Korea’s most notorious cryptocurrency entrepreneur, was reportedly released from prison in Montenegro on March 23 following extradition requests from the United States and South Korea.

Kwon is currently facing court accusations related to the Terra ecosystem’s collapse in 2022. Darko Vukcevic, the prison director, reportedly said over the phone:

“Do Kwon was released as his sentence for using fraudulent documents concluded. Being a non-national and due to the confiscation of his documents, he was escorted to the police department for foreigners for further proceedings.”

The decision to release Kwon was apparently made by the Supreme Court Council, which is scheduled to consider a judgment that might grant or deny extradition to his native South Korea.

The latest development also follows after four employees of South Korean crypto exchange Coinone have been indicted for allegedly employing illegal methods to amass profits exceeding $2.26 million during coin listings from multiple projects

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