Law enforcement agencies in the Chinese city of Xuchang detained 27 people suspected of organizing a cryptocurrency pyramid with strange name I Am a Clown (IAC), whose capitalization was about $ 193 million, according to the state television chanell CCTV.
The stolen funds — more than 1.3 billion yuan ($ 193 million) in cash — were stored in a specially purchased villa.
IAC was supposed to become a platform for developing a large-scale social network based on blockchain technology, Big Data and artificial intelligence. Acting according to the classical Ponzi scheme, the company representatives asked to invest in the project a cryptocurrency, in return promising a huge income.
It is also reported that the main suspects were hiding outside of China and managed the platform remotely, with the help of hired personnel. To conceal their personalities, fraudsters used fake corporations.
The suspects were detained back in August 2018, but the investigators released the details of the operation only this week.