US to Launch BTC Price Manipulation Investigation

US Department of Justice together with CFTC will try to determine whether traders are manipulating the rate of bitcoin and other digital currencies
24 May 2018   629

The US Department of Justice initiated a criminal investigation to determine whether traders are manipulating the rate of bitcoin and other digital currencies. This is reported by Bloomberg.

The investigation is aimed at identifying illegal practices that can be used to manipulate courses, including spoofing or filling the market with fake orders to mislead other traders and induce them to buy or sell crypto currency, an anonymous source said. They are also interested in fictitious transactions aimed at creating a false impression of active trade. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice work together with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

There’s very little monitoring of manipulative trading, spoofing and wash trading. It would be easy to spoof this market.

John Griffin

Finance professor, University of Texas

Authorities are concerned about the possibility of fraud in the cryptocurrency market for several reasons: they are not sure that exchanges are actively fighting those who can use dishonest practices, while opportunities for their application are present, and proper regulation is not.

The investigation is at an early stage, the source said. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the CFTC declined to comment on the situation.

Crypto Billionaire to Lost 5.5k BTC Due to Fraud

Thai scammers convinced 22 yo Finnish crypto billionaire to invest in their 'investment' scheme
13 August 2018   269

The 22-year-old cryptocurrency millionaire lost more than 5,500 bitcoins after taking part in the investment scheme in Thailand. The case attracted public attention because of the possible participation of a Thai actor. This is reported by Bangkok Post.

A group of scammers in June 2017 persuaded Finnish businessman Aarni Otawa Saarimaa to invest in several Thai securities, a casino in Macau and a crypto currency called Dragon Coin.

Scammers claimed that Dragon Coin could be used in Macau casinos. In addition, they brought Saarimaa to this casino to demonstrate the legitimacy of their project. Saarimaa transferred 5 564 BTC to fraudsters.

In January, without receiving any income for his investments, Saarimaa filed a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division's (CSD), along with his local business partner, who believed that this investment scheme was fraudulent.

CSD began to investigate the case and stated that the group made no investment for Saarimaa, instead transferring all the bitcoins to Thai baht and placing these funds on seven bank accounts.

Although it is not clear when exactly the scammers sold the bitcoins, CSD announced that they raised about 800 million baht or about 24 million dollars.

Then followed a months-long investigation, according to which CSD began to suspect that the Thai film actor Jiratkisit "Boom" Jaravijit also took part in the fraudulent scheme - he was arrested last Wednesday.

In addition, the CSD stated that it suspects the actor's brother, Princess Jaravijit, as the "instigator" of this entire scheme. He left Thailand, traveling to South Korea, and then to the United States. According to the Bangkok Post, CSD is currently working with the US to track him down.