In a report coming out of Taiwan, an individual who founded and ran a bitcoin company has been arrested on charges of fraud, breach of trust and document forgery after allegedly causing losses to 49 customers in a month.
The chairman of Taipei-based Digital Bitcoin Company, a man identified by his surname Ho has been arrested and handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office in Taiwan, according to a report by local publication Focus Taiwan.
Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) officials revealed that Ho had swindled NT$10 million (approx. USD $306,500) and caused losses to 49 customers in a month.
Ho originally set up Digital Bitcoin Company in June 2014. In January 2015, he purported that significant market players were interested in buying bitcoins at a high price. His customers bought into the story to buy bitcoins as an investment opportunity.
Although details remain scarce, Ho is alleged to have simply changed the company’s server settings to take control of his customers’ bitcoins, as his own. To complete his scam, he then publicly claimed that his company was hacked and the bitcoins were lost, before shutting down Digital Bitcoin Company.
CIB officials stated that Ho owed money to loan sharks before he set up his scam.
This isn’t the first instance of a bitcoin-based scam in Taiwan. CCN previously reported on a Taiwanese couple that allegedly defrauded over 1,000 people in Taiwan with a Ponzi scheme. The couple lured investors with the promise of a large-yield bitcoin investment at a return of 250% within a month.
Within six days of the “investment-scheme” going public, the couple told investors that it had received over NT$50 Million (approx. USD $1.5 million).
The latest report of a cryptocurrency-based scam comes not long after a Vietnamese regulator warned citizens against using digital currencies including Bitcoin, citing an increasing number of Ponzi schemes dealing with digital currencies in South-eastern Asia.
Featured image from Shutterstock.