Japanese Police Arrest Crypto Pyramid Organizers
Tokyo police officers arrested eight people suspected of creating a financial crypto pyramid that collected more than $68 million yen, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports.
The defendants claimed to be the leaders of the US investment company Sener. They conducted seminars and other events with foreign experts. According to the law enforcement officers, at least one meeting was recorded on video and posted on YouTube.
During such seminars, the suspects promised monthly income from deposits in the amount of 3% to 20% and asked participants to invite as many investors as possible, thereby increasing their profits.
According to the investigation, 6000 people from 44 prefectures, including Tokyo, became victims of the fraudsters. The organizers of the pyramid collected cash and bitcoins by deception. As a result, 73 people filed a class action lawsuit in the capital court, demanding payment of damages for about $3.2 million. Six of the detainees have already admitted to the crime, and the other two continue to insist on their innocence.
The police believe that the suspects sought to avoid criminal prosecution, using cryptos, which are in the “gray zone” according to the position of the Japanese financial regulator. The Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA) believes that digital currencies cannot be regarded as securities under the jurisdiction of the current legislation. However, they can be regulated depending on the structure of investments; there are no clear rules here.
As previously reported, the FSA has declared the crypto industry a structure with its own regulation.