HashFlare founders arrested in $575M crypto scam
Two of the founders of HashFlare, a Bitcoin cloud mining service that is no longer active, have been arrested in Estonia on suspicion of being engaged in a crypto fraud scheme with a potential loss of $575 million. The conspiracy was allegedly perpetrated by a third party.
The year 2015 saw the commencement of business for the company that is now known as HashFlare, which is a cloud mining firm. Customers may rent the business's hashing power to mine bitcoin and obtain a percentage of the income created by the company, according to the company's website, which states that customers have the option to do so.
At the time, the company was generally recognized as one of the most important participants in the business. Nevertheless, in July of 2018, it paused a substantial portion of its mining efforts, which led to widespread speculation that it may have been planning to exit the market.
The entire mining operation, which was run by the company's founders Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin, was, however, part of a "multi-faceted scheme" that "defrauded hundreds of thousands of victims," as stated in a statement issued by the United States Department of Justice and citing court documents. According to this statement, the mining operation was part of a "multi-faceted scheme" that "defrauded hundreds of thousands of victims."
It is also alleged that the two conspired together to hide their "criminal proceeds." via the use of 75 residences, six luxury vehicles, cryptocurrency wallets, and hundreds of pieces of cryptocurrency mining equipment. Both of them have been accused of doing this thing.
"These defendants capitalized on both the allure of cryptocurrency and the mystery surrounding cryptocurrency mining in order to commit an enormous Ponzi scheme," he has been quoted as saying.
They have been charged with conspiracy to conduct wire fraud, 16 counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering using shell businesses and bogus invoices and contracts. The founders of HashFlare are the ones who are facing these charges. If they are proved to be responsible, the creators of HashFlare may be sentenced to a maximum of twenty years in jail.
HashCoins OU, the company that is now HashFlare's parent company, was created in 2013, and HashFlare's mining services were made accessible for the first time in 2015. Potapenko and Turõgin are responsible for the establishment of both of these businesses.
HashFlare made the announcement that it will discontinue providing Bitcoin mining services in July of 2018, citing the difficulties in turning a profit owing to the volatility nature of the market as the primary reason for the decision.
As part of the investigation that is now being conducted by the FBI, customers who signed up for what the FBI thinks to be fraudulent operations by HashFlare, HashCoins OU, and Polybius are being approached for information in order to get it from them.