April 19, 2024
Fraud Victims Seek $4.3B Bitcoin Recovery
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Fraud Victims Seek $4.3B Bitcoin Recovery

Victims of an investment fraud scheme orchestrated by a Chinese electronics company are seeking to retrieve $4.3 billion in Bitcoin with the assistance of the United Kingdom government.

Seeking Assistance from Chinese and UK Authorities

Representatives of the scam victims have contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, urging negotiations with the U.K. government to recover the seized Bitcoin. The fraudulent scheme, amounting to $6.2 billion, was perpetrated by Tianjin Lantian Gerui Electronic Technology between 2014 and 2017.

The group, supported by nearly 2,500 signatures from victims, plans to submit a letter to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The letter said:

“We do not want, and will never accept, a situation where Bitcoins are confiscated by the UK and not returned to us.”

Seizure and Investigation

The U.K. authorities confiscated the cryptocurrency following an attempt by former hospitality worker Jian Wen to launder funds by purchasing a $30-million mansion with BTC. However, Wen’s failure to explain the source of the funds prompted an investigation.

Image of the property that Wen attempted to purchase. Source: Sky News

In 2021, police raided a property rented by Wen and her boss, Zhimin Qian, the alleged mastermind behind the investment fraud. During the raid, 61,000 BTC were discovered, valued at $1.7 billion at the time of seizure but now worth approximately $4.3 billion due to Bitcoin’s price surge.

Legal Proceedings and Conviction

Initially, Wen claimed that the Bitcoin had been mined, but later changed her story, stating it was a gift from Qian, who had fled the United Kingdom. Wen faced charges of money laundering between October 2017 and January 2022. Despite denying the allegations, Wen was found guilty by the Southwark Crown Court on March 20.

The victims’ letter urges the Chinese government to collaborate with the U.K. and provide evidence substantiating their rightful ownership of the seized Bitcoin. However, the U.K. government has not disclosed its plans regarding the seized cryptocurrency.

Image by freepik

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