The Spanish police say, in a statement, that he is “one of the biggest fraudsters with false investments in cryptocurrencies” at a European level.
In the operation, 7 state-of-the-art vehicles, electronic devices and various documents were seized. The total assets seized amount to more than two and a half million euros.
The Portuguese is accused of seven crimes of fraud and money laundering. “The operation began last August, after the agents learned the facts through collaboration with private security guards,” says the Guardia Civil communiqué. On December 2, searches were carried out at the detainee's house, a company and a workshop.
The scam worked through a “ponzi scheme”, in which the earnings of the first investors are paid with the money invested by the following ones, and so on, successively. As it is not based on the real return of an asset, the scheme ends up collapsing. The greatest “ponzi scheme” in history was created by Bernard Madoff and was discovered in 2008.
According to Spanish law enforcement authorities, the detainee created an investment platform in cryptocurrencies that was advertised in online forums, radio programs, sports and charity events. It attracted investors in Spain and Portugal, but there are also victims in Luxembourg and Switzerland. "The platform offered a minimum return of 2.5% per week to investors, depending on the amount they contributed," the statement said.
The operation was carried out by agents of the Technological Investigations Team (EDITE) and the Economic Crimes Team of the Guardia Civil of Valencia Command, with the collaboration of EUROPOL.