In Austria, a 58-year-old man and his 81-year-old father have been sentenced to prison for allegedly swindling thirteen million euros in cryptocurrency markets from unsuspecting investors. This was stated by the Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office in a report. The statement alleges that the two offered their victims high returns on cash and bitcoin investments on two online platforms, attracting at least 100 people mainly from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In addition, it is alleged that the two developed a pyramid scheme to locate even more victims.
The investigation began in November 2019 after receiving a confidential report. Between late 2018 and mid-2020, two individuals, who have since been convicted, proposed high profits on investments on the platforms “CMC – Crypto Market Consulting” and “Minerva Trading Bot”. These funds were to be managed by professional “traders” on the crypto markets. According to the information in the report, around 13 million euros were invested in cash and bitcoins by at least 100 victims. In addition, the victims received rewards for referring other investors.
The situation of the Austrian and his father shows how fraudsters exploit people’s inexperience in the cryptocurrency market. It underlines the need for better protection for investors in digital currencies.
facebook also affected
In response, Facebook said it would introduce a new set of security protocols for its cryptocurrency project Libra.
According to the statement, numerous law enforcement agencies in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Bulgaria were involved in the complex investigation into the “crime scene internet”. In October 2021, the now 58-year-old was arrested in Bulgaria and brought back to Austria; both he and his father had already confessed. In mid-December, the son was sentenced by the Vienna Regional Court to four and a half years in prison, his father to 30 months (20 of which were conditional). This trial brings back memories of the frauds of the association “Da Vinci Fintech Executives Switzerland” with damages of up to 2.7 million euros. Those responsible were all sentenced to prison, as reported by ORF in May 2022; the main defendant received five years.