Crypto-crooks had a bumper year in 2019 fleecing investors

Lounging in a swimming pool in Monaco might seem like an odd way to give an interview, but it suited Jobadiah ‘Joby’ Weeks to flaunt his wealth.

He claimed that others could also get rich by investing in his Bitcoin business, BitClub Network.

Now Weeks, 38, has been charged with a £540million worldwide cryptocurrency fraud alongside fellow Americans Matthew Goettsche, 37 and Joseph Abel, 49, the US Department of Justice has announced .

Joby Weeks

“The indictment describes the defendants’ use of the complex world of cryptocurrency to take advantage of unsuspecting investors,” said US Attorney Craig Carpenito.

“What they allegedly did amounts to little more than a modern, high-tech Ponzi scheme that defrauded victims of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office said the defendants “allegedly made hundreds of millions of dollars by continuing to recruit new investors over several years while spending victims’ money lavishly.”

“Those arrested today are accused of deploying elaborate tactics to lure thousands of victims with promises of large returns on their investments in a bitcoin mining pool, an advanced method of profiting on cryptocurrency.”

The arrests are just the latest in what’s been a bumper year for global crytpo catastrophes.

UK USI-Tech promoter Sharon James

There was USI-Tech , which claimed to be a platform to allow users to automatically trade Bitcoin with promises of “excellent profits”.

Investors were encouraged to increase earnings by recruiting others but were left high and dry when the website disappeared. Besides UK victims, I’ve been contacted by people caught out by USI-Tech in Australia, the United States, South Africa, Japan and Malaysia.

OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova

Meanwhile the hunt by the FBI continues for 39-year-old Ruja Ignatova , founder of the collapsed £3billion OneCoin scam that recruited victims…

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