Detectives from the Queensland Police's Financial and Cyber Crime Group in Australia investigated a criminal syndicate which handled several businesses selling cryptocurrency investments.
More than 100 Australians were tricked between 2017 and May 2019. They lost $2.7 million. The scam had "ruined a lot of lives" and would make retirement hard for many people who had invested money from their superannuation funds. Only $30,000 has been recovered by authorities. Five persons, three men aged 56, 44 and 33 and two women aged 28 and 21, have been charged with fraud and money laundering after police say they caught them conducting a cryptocurrency scam. They are set to appear before in court in separate cases on August 9, August 22, and November 5.
The victims were given the chance to invest in Exmount Holdings Group, a seemingly legitimate company complete with a website, call centre and sales staff. Later, the victims realised they couldn't withdraw their funds or contact the company. "Quid Pro Quo Foundation", "The Atlas Group" and "AFG Associates Pty Ltd" were other scam variants. The major fraud charge carries up to 20 years' imprisonment. If the organised crime allegation can also be proven in court, the penalty for the five accused could be increased.