Bentleys, Porsches and luxury watches, these alleged scammers denied having anything stolen for 2 million euros of Bitcoin. The main characters of this story have set up a simple scam, but which will allow them to collect millions of euros in a few years through different victims.
With a basic operating model, our 2 accomplices managed to convince their victims to trust them to make transactions in crypto currencies. These targeted places are very popular with millionaires and billionaires such as Paris, Cannes, or even Megève. Find out more about this strange case.
JIRS Bordeaux managed to arrest 2 suspects
The IS JIRS (Specialized Inter-Regional Jurisdictions) they are organizations of several magistrates united to fight organized crime and financial crime. These are last commissioned for complex investigations and there are many ways to accomplish them.
Among other things, they have at their disposal a joint investigation team in several countries, infiltration methods, sound systems, etc. In France, 8 jurisdictions have been established, incl one Bordeaux that could solve a case of fraud through cryptocurrencies.
The Bordeaux JIRS worked very well with the SR which is the research part of the Gendarmerie of Bordeaux. The latter was responsible for carrying out the seizures with the support of more specialized units such as the Center for Combating Digital Crime, the research departments of Paris and Marseille, as well as the gendarmerie of the Alpes-Maritimes.
In short, this operation mobilized many forces that had to cooperate to accomplish their mission. The amount of resources used it clearly shows the complexity that such investigations require to resolve.
Seizure of Porsches, Bentleys and a 50,000 euro luxury watch
Seizures were made at the homes of 2 suspects. These are evidence of the full extent of the scam perpetrated by the men involved. The recovered objects also reinforce the suspicionin the weighing about the two alleged scammers.
If they have not been found guilty yet, the way of life being led by the two defendants does not seem to match what they can claim. Among others, two Porsches, a Bentley and a luxury watch worth 50,000 euros were found at the home of the persons searched.
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The operating model of the 2 million euro Bitcoin scam
The most amazing thing about this story is the ease with which these millions of euros were stolen. Both of our scammers took false names at first like Philippe Pictet, Alexandre Karlstein or Richard Von Stein and pretended to be wealthy investors.
After that, the two suspects met their victims in prestigious places and they found their trust. The latter then managed to convince some of them to meet them in expensive hotels and chic restaurants.
Their biggest hit in 2019 was in Milan. Both men will have to he managed to steal 1.5 million euros. It will be possible to recover at least 500,000 euros more due to other smaller thefts in the city of Paris and the capital of Lombardy.
A suitcase, counterfeit notes, a crypto wallet, and a hacked phone
It’s all in the title, it didn’t take much more to commit multiple scams against victims of all nationalities. Philippe, Alexandre or Richard, convincing their victims to transfer Bitcoins or other cryptoassets to a digital wallet as an alternative to counterfeit bank notes in travel cases.
The crooks managed upstream, or just after, that hack the victim’s phone in order to steal the private key from his wallet to retrieve the contents. And that’s how the two protagonists were able to carry out their scams for several years without being worried.
Both suspects are facing questions
Currently, the suspects have been indicted, and the charges against them are serious. Overall, they are accused of organized fraud, money laundering, criminal association, and also of refusing to share their phone unlock codes and using false administrative documents.
An incredible story as it is the evolution has yet to continue. And if you want to learn more about the scandals that have rocked the crypto world in the last few days, find out about the FTX affair or the 3AC affair.