Two suspects in the Hong Kong-based MyCoin bitcoin Ponzi scam have reportedly been arrested in Thailand.
Chen Yun-fei and former president of the Taoyuan Junior Chamber of Commerce Lu Kuan-wei are believed to have hosted several events for investors. Want China Times reports that according to the Criminal Investigation Bureau in Taipei, numerous local investors reported fraud after investing in the scheme.
At the events, investors were convinced to invest NT$1.62 million ($49,600), or 90 bitcoins. They were to receive a return of 0.63 BTC per day, and they would get back their entire principal after 4 1/2 months- yielding an effective annual return of 255%.
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News of the scam first surfaced in February when it was reported that the operation ceased and its managers were nowhere to be found. As many as 150 alleged victims came forward: 60 from Hong Kong and another 90 from mainland China, Thailand and elsewhere.
In March, five were arrested in connection with the scheme in Hong Kong. Still at large is William Dennis Atwood, who had been listed as the sole director of Rich Might Investment, MyCoin’s operator.
Investors were wooed by lavish events and impressive marketing materials. A Hong Kong legislator had commented, “The packaging is very intelligent, colorful and authoritative. Even people who think they are smart would fall into the trap… I have rarely seen such a tactic as this in 20 years or so as a legislator.”
Based on complaints submitted thus far, investors lost a total of roughly $18-20 million. One woman reportedly invested NT$14 million ($428,700).