| 23 February 2024, Friday |

U.S. seizes crypto linked to Southeast Asian investment scam

Digital currency valued at about half a million dollars was taken from an account belonging to a Chinese guy who was the subject of a Reuters investigation into cryptocurrency investment fraud emanating from Southeast Asia.

According to American police, the crypto-investment scam that led to the confiscation was called “pig butchering.” These schemes involve manipulating gullible individuals that they encounter on the internet and convincing them to invest in fraudulent cryptocurrency projects.

The U.S. Secret Service seized the crypto from an account in the name of Wang Yicheng in June, according to a document filed by U.S. authorities in federal court in Massachusetts. The crypto was worth about $500,000 at the time. Money initially stolen from a Massachusetts victim was traced to Wang’s account, the Nov. 21 filing said.

Reuters, in an article published last month, identified Wang as a businessman who forged relationships with members of Thailand’s law-enforcement and political elite while serving as the vice president of a Bangkok-based Chinese trade group.

The Nov. 23 article detailed how a crypto account in Wang’s name received more than $90 million in recent years, based on documents and transaction logs. Of that, at least $9.1 million came from a crypto wallet that U.S. blockchain analysis firm TRM Labs said was linked to pig-butchering scams, Reuters reported.

  • Reuters