A ten-year prison sentence is awaiting the director of a cryptocurrency exchange, RG Coins, who has laundered millions of dollars from fraudulent online auctions.
The Bulgarian owner of RG Coins, Rosen Yosifov, has been convicted of his role in laundering money from victims of theft and transmitting it into crypto-currency exchanges aimed at shielding the illegal source of dirty money.
A criminal scheme worth multimillion dollars
The 53-year-old knowingly engaged in sales activities to help scam artists wash away their theft profits and avoid criminal liability, according to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
This multimillion-dollar criminal program began with a large-scale online bidding scheme involving at least 900 US people being carried out by criminals based in Romania. Websites have been used, including Craigslist and eBay, to list high-priced products that are not there, usually cars.
These funds will be transformed into cryptocurrencies and moved on to money laundering until the victim wins the auction and pays for their object.
Yosef is one of the money launderers who made the program’s final move inevitable, according to the US Attorney’s Office. The Yosifov cryptocurrency exchange in Sofia, Bulgaria, has served at least five Alexandria Online Fraud Network (AOAF) clients, according to the DoJ, and has provided criminal customers with a favorable exchange rate.
Prosecutors say that almost $ 5 million worth of cryptocurrency was laundered on behalf of four AOAF clients in less than three years. Nearly $7 million was looted from US people alone when it was turned into fiat currency.
Money laundering needed a reduction due to the risks, and the owner of RG Coins made over $ 184,000 for his business. Judge Robert Weir of the US District Court sentenced Yosifov to 10 years in jail on charges of conspiracy to commit offenses under the influence of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and conspiracy to launder money. Rosen is expected to complete a minimum of 8.5 years in prison.
There are crypto-related scams on the rise
A Californian man who defrauded participants in digital currency scams of $147 million across the world in monumental proportions faces a 10-year prison term, federal prosecutors said.
Worldwide, Steve Chen defrauded 72,000 investors. According to the US Attorney, he turned his business over to US Fine Investment Arts to harvest amber and other gemstones from mines that do not exist in Central California in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Argentina’s Office.
Chen also funded the Ponzi program, which lasted from July 2013 to September 2015, with a promotion program that rewarded investors with new USFIA investors’ payments for hiring other entities, prosecutors said.
A total of 17 AOAF members – including Bulgarian nationals – have been convicted, and seven others are also serving prison terms. Three members are on the run.