Australia’s financial and cyber crime group has charged five people in conjunction with fraud and money laundering of cryptocurrency.
The accused reportedly conducted cold call investment fraud during 2017 to 2019. Detectives investigated the group, which operated several businesses selling cryptocurrency investments.
It is believed there were 100 Australian-based victims tricked into thinking their investments, which totalled $2.7m, had made significant profit when in fact, they never existed.
Victims were contacted with an opportunity to invest into Exmount Holdings, which appeared to be legitimate. There were several other fake companies including Exmount Holdings Ltd, The Quid Pro Quo Foundation, The Atlas Group, AFG Associates Pty Ltd, tradex123, exmounttrading, atlasfxgroup and amazonqus.
The victims were offered a trial investment that promised generous returns after they invested more funds. They were each provided with log-in details to a website where they could watch the investment grow during the trial.
“When victims attempted to withdraw their capital, they could not. Their money had gone and any attempt they made to contact one of the companies or their staff was unsuccessful,” Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group said.
The police are continuing its investigation and is looking to speak to victims or anyone with potential information.
Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said, “We ask the community to remain resilient against this type of offending. Always be wary of and maintain control of your finances. Ask yourself if you are in control of these transactions, be wary of any unsolicited telephone calls or emails offering investment opportunities and seek independent advice from friends, family or financial advisors.”
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