The PlusToken scam remains one of the most extensive in the crypto industry’s history. However, authorities have also done a stellar job when it comes to crackdowns. According to reports, Chinese authorities have managed to recover up to $4.2 billion in digital assets from the fraud scheme.
PlusToken’s Quick History
Earlier today, industry news source The Black reported that the Jiangsu Yancheng Intermediate People’s Court provided a breakdown of the crypto assets that police have seized concerning the PlusToken scam.
As the court highlighted, law enforcement has so far gotten 194,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, 487 million XRP, 27.6 million EOS, and 1.4 million LTC.
They’ve also seized 213,724 USDT, 74,167 DASH, 6 billion DOGE, and 79,581 BCH. In total, these assets are worth over $4.2 billion. As the court added, all seized cryptocurrencies will be processed in compliance with Chinese financial laws. Gains will also be remitted to the national treasury.
As stated earlier, the PlusToken scam is one that needs no introduction. The firm launched in 2018, posing as an investment platform and wallet service. Customers were attracted to the company’s juicy investment returns, and they trooped to it in their numbers.
Soon, it all unraveled. Customers began to claim that they couldn’t get their gains, and the firm started defaulting on payments. When its fraudulent nature ultimately came to light, PlusToken went dark, and authorities began searching for company officials. In general, local Chinese news sources reported that the company defrauded investors to the tune of $5.7 billion. Even at that, the company managed to continue operating. Amid the search for its top officials, crypto insiders also noted that PlusToken’s wallets had begun moving money.
In the latter part of last year, Chainalysis reported that it had tracked 45,000 BTC (worth over $300 million at the time) and 80,000 ETH ($102 million) that the firm had sent to some individual addresses.
Some significant transfers have also happened this year. In June, asset tracking platform Whale Alert noted that a PlusToken wallet had transferred 26.3 million EOS tokens – worth $67 million at the time. Three days later, the platform spotted another transfer of 789,000 ETH ($181.5 million).
🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 26,316,339 #EOS (67,139,663 USD) transferred from PlusToken to unknown wallet
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) June 22, 2020
Arrests in Bulk
While several top company officials remain at large, Chinese law enforcement has also done a number on PlusToken’s affiliates. In July, industry news source ChainNews reported that state police had arrested 27 company operators and taken them into custody. While the news source didn’t divulge many details, it added that the police were still investigating a possible 82 additional core company members.
In September, prosecutors in Yancheng City and Xiangshui County also charged six people for involvement in the money laundering scheme. The company’s accused ringleader was apprehended in May, while six top-ranking officials were extradited to China from the island nation of Vanuatu in 2019.