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- Chinese authorities confiscate 194,775 Bitcoin, 833,083 Ethereum, 1.4 million LTC, 487 million in the digital asset XRP from PlusToken.
- Nearly $4.2 billion in cryptocurrencies will become part of China’s National Treasury.
A report by TheBlock reveals new developments related to one of the largest crypto-related scams in history. A verdict from the Jiangsu Yancheng People’s Court has released the exact amount that China has managed to confiscate after arresting the suspects in the PlusToken scam. The amounts taken by the authorities exceed $4.2 billion.
China confiscates 1% of Bitcoin supply (BTC)
In total, the authorities have confiscated 194,775 BTC or about 1% of the total Bitcoin supply, 833,083 ETH, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 487 million in the XRP, 6 billion in DOGE, 79,581 in BCH, 213,724 in USDT. The court stated the following in its verdict, according to TheBlock:
(…) the seized digital currencies will be processed pursuant to laws and the proceeds and gains will be forfeited to the national treasury.
Local media reports indicate that more than 2.6 million users were affected by the PlusToken scam. In total, the scammers stole about 50 billion yuan or $7.6 billion. The trial that concluded recently began on September 22 in a court in Jiangsu province.
In addition, a document filed with the court revealed that the peak period of the scam was between April 6, 2018, and January 2019. At that time, PlusToken wallet users had deposited 314,000 BTC, 117,450 BCH, 9 million ETH, among other digital assets.
In total, during the period in question, the 15 people convicted of the scam managed to steal more than $11 billion in different cryptocurrencies, by calculating based on the current market price.
The judicial institution has denied a motion for appeal filed by the defendants. Therefore, the verdict issued on November 19 of this year is a “final decision”. The 15 convicts will have to serve an 11-year sentence and pay fines ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.
As reported by CNF, the PlusToken scam began when in 2019 users of the digital wallet of the same name began to report problems accessing their funds. Eventually, the fraudsters blocked total access to the users’ funds and managed to steal more than 200,000 BTCs and 800,000 ETHs, among other cryptocurrencies.
Initially, some of the perpetrators were arrested, but others remained free until July of this year. Chinese authorities managed to arrest more than 100 suspects associated with the scam. At that time, the “complete destruction” of the PlusToken scam network was reported.
In China, the authorities began a series of measures that impacted the crypto industry. Executives from prominent trading platforms such as OKEx and Huobi were arrested to demand their collaboration in the investigations. As a result, funds and accounts were frozen, which has had a negative effect on Chinese mining pools. There is speculation that the measures were related to the PlusToken case.