The alleged scams with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or Ethereum have burst into the Spanish courts, where complaints from thousands of affected people who have seen hundreds of millions of euros evaporate through pyramid schemes.
Cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that are based on encrypted security codes to certify electronic transactions for the purchase and sale of goods and services, and of these there are already about 5,000, although only 40 have liquidity within the market.
As of September 2020, the total capitalization of this market was $ 336 billion.
At the moment, in Spain the largest alleged fraud by volume defrauded is that of Algorithms Group, a bitcoin investment company based in London that could have defrauded more than 280 million euros (about 341 million dollars) to about 3,000 investors and that the Spanish National Court is already investigating.
The complaint lists a series of alleged crimes such as fraud, intrusion, money laundering, corporate crimes, misappropriation and illicit association.
The lawyer Emilia Zaballos, president of the Association of People Affected by Investments in Bitcoins, defends the creation of specialized courts in these operations and regrets the laziness that, in her opinion, have been shown by both the National Securities Market Commission and the Bank of Spain, which warn about these financial bars but do not prevent them from operating.
Below the volume allegedly defrauded by Algorithms is Nimbus, which according to a report by the Spanish Civil Guard would have cheated about 136 million euros (almost 166 million dollars).
The supposed mastermind of the plot is Andrea Zanon, who between 2009 and 2016 was responsible for the Middle East risk area of the World Bank, in 2020 created Nimbus in Malta and in October of that year the company already stopped facing the commitments with its investors, around 4,000.
As stated in the complaint, Nimbus was following a pyramid scheme or Ponzi scheme, whereby instead of buying and selling crypto assets, it did not actually carry out any type of financial activity but limited itself to paying the interests of the first investors with the capital offered by the following.
Nimbus’ operations, which guaranteed returns of between 7% and 15% per month, could constitute the crimes of fraud, money laundering and criminal organization.
LAUNDERING AND CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION
Another case investigated by the Spanish National Court is that of Arbistar 2.0, whose economic damage exceeds 41 million euros (almost 50 million dollars) but could amount to 100 (about 122 million dollars).
Arbistar 2.0 could have incurred in alleged aggravated fraud, criminal organization and a continuing crime of falsification of a commercial document, for an alleged fraud scheme promising investors returns of between 8% and 15% per month, paying them weekly, always on Saturdays, and giving them the option of adding it to the initial amounts invested or opting for the reimbursement.
As in the case of Nimbus, what allegedly happened was that they used a part of the money obtained from investors to deliver it to previous investors in payment of the high agreed interest.
The Spanish National Court also opened proceedings after a lawsuit against the Kuailian cryptocurrency platform, which allegedly exchanged euros for Ethereum through a virtual wallet with a thousand-day contract.
A judge has indications that, in addition to the pyramidal operation with cryptocurrencies, Kuailian could have committed tax fraud, being domiciled in Estonia although it operates in Spain, as well as money laundering, although it has not yet quantified the volume of the alleged swindle.