The top operators of the giant PlusToken scam are heading to prison after being found guilty of defrauding investors out of 14.8 billion yuan ($2.25 billion) worth of cryptocurrency in the eastern province of Jiangsu, China.
- According to a report from the South China Morning Post on Tuesday, leader Chen Bo set up PlusToken as a blockchain project in 2018 and attracted millions of people with promises of high returns on investment. They were also required to pay membership fees in cryptocurrencies.
- As previously reported, all of PlusToken's 27 alleged masterminds were arrested this summer, along with another 82 core members who were hiding in Cambodia, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Malaysia.
- According to today's report, Chen used social media and offline events to recruit members.
- In January 2019, Chen and his team fled to Cambodia to continue the PlusToken scam. Chen cashed out an estimated 127 million yuan ($19.32 million) to buy properties and luxury cars.
- The Yancheng, Jiangsu, court handed Bo and 13 other operators prison terms of two and 11 years, with fines ranging from 120,000 yuan ($18,000) to 6 million yuan ($900,000).
- Billions in cryptocurrency collected by the fraud were also seized by authorities. A recent court document suggested the total value of the assets may have been as high as $4 billion.