The court files of 19 November show that a large volume of cryptoactives, including Bitcoin and Ether, was seized from seven convicts in the PlusToken case.
The PlusToken controversy, which has resulted in the arrest of 109 people so far, has also led to a large seizure of cryptoactives by Chinese authorities worth $4.2 billion at today’s price.
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According to court documents publicly released on 19 November and published by The Block, the authorities seized the massive amount of 194,775 Bitcoin (BTC), 833,083 Ether (ETH), 1.4 million Litecoin (LTC), 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 Dash, 487 million XRP, 6 billion Dogecoin (DOGE), 79,581 Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and 213,724 Tether (USDT) from seven people convicted in the case.
According to the ruling of the Yancheng Intermediate People’s Court, the proceeds of the seized cryptoactives will go to the national treasury. Precise details of how the assets will be treated and processed under national law have not been fully detailed.
The PlusToken scheme, which first published its white paper in February 2018, had been presented as a South Korean crypto currency and wallet exchange provider that could provide users with interest-bearing accounts capable of generating between 8% and 16% monthly returns, with a minimum deposit of $500 in crypto assets.
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According to local reports in September 2020, PlusToken attracted 2 million members between May 2018 and June 2019.
The Yancheng Intermediate People’s Court puts the The News Spy estimated number of members at 2.6 million and describes that the scheme absorbed 314,000 BTC, 117,450 BCH, 96,023 Dash, 11 billion DOGE, 1.84 million LTC, 9 million ETH, 51 million EOS and 928 million XRP by 27 June 2019.
At the time of their absorption, these funds were allegedly worth about 15 billion yuan, approximately $2.2 billion. In current bull market conditions this is significantly higher.
Some of the funds were used to encourage members to recruit new targets, while some were charged for daily expenses and personal expenses by the scheme’s managers.
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By the summer of 2019, the scheme had ceased operations, citing an alleged „system maintenance“ in what appears to have been one of the industry’s largest exit scams. Chinese authorities approached, arresting and/or detaining many of the key people involved.
The Yancheng Intermediate People’s Court ruling states that 15 people have so far been sentenced to between two and 11 years in prison and fined between $100,000 and $1 million.