An Abu Dhabi court has sentenced nine men to 10-year jail terms for defrauding unsuspecting investors of Dh18 million ($4.9 million) via a cryptocurrency-linked get-rich-quick scheme.
Local news outlet The National reported today that the illegal scheme was operated from overseas by an unnamed man, who claimed to be working for a top investment company.
According to the report, unsuspecting investors were asked to pay money into the company’s UAE bank account in order to get a return of 30% of their investment every week. Investors were told that the company specializes in cryptocurrencies, which gave them the confidence that the firm could pay the promised ROI.
The ring leader, after sending fake profit invoices the investors had made throughout the period of their investments, encouraged them to increase their portfolio, in order to get mouthwatering incentives.
These false claims prompted the victims to invest a total of Dh18 million ($4.9 million), The National added.
Per the report, investors became suspicious of the business when one of the victims was asked to make an additional payment in the form of tax before payouts could be made. Instead of leaving anything to chance, the investors alerted the authorities, prompting the operatives to commence investigations.
According to the Abu Dhabi criminal court, the nine accused are guilty of obtaining the funds via fraudulent means and were also slammed with money laundering charges.
Based on the charges, the court issued a confiscation order for the seizure of the offenders’ funds and assets, with each of the nine criminals slammed with a 10-year jail term.
The nine criminals were also fined Dh10 million ($2.7 million). In addition, six firms involved in the cryptocurrency scam would also pay a fine of $10 million for their roles played in the unfortunate incident.
While the court’s statement did not indicate the nationalities of all the criminals, eight of them will be deported to their various countries after serving their jail terms, the report added.
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