A Serbian Man and Dozen Others Charged in $70M Crypto Fraud

A man from Serbia has recently been extradited to the United States of America. The federal grand jury in Dallas charged him with the allegation that he had defrauded investors to the tune of $70 Million. The accused had deceived crypto investors around the globe, most of whom are in northern Texas.

The accused, AntonijeStoijikovic, 32, was arrested by the Serbian authorities after the US made a provisional arrest request on 24 July 2020. Consequently, the accused consented to extradition and the FBI made arrangements to remove him from Serbia to Texas.

The federal grand Jury in Dallas did not just charge Stoijikovic but also indicted a dozen other purported fraudsters. They were charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering. All the alleged accused were arrested by the Serbian police.

According to Dallas authorities, the accused were charged with carrying out a worldwide scam that swindled investors out of millions of dollars. The FBI Agent in Dallas remarked that they with support from worldwide law enforcement authorities were equipped to investigate such fraudulent schemes. He also added that investors should be extra cautious when dealing with virtual currency and immediately report any dubious activity.

The alleged fraudulent scheme lured investors into investment in binary options and cryptocurrency mining.

The accused publicized their binary options, boasting a payout of 80% and promising a refund of 20% on every lost trade. On the cryptocurrency mining platforms, it claimed that crypto investors could buy Bitcoin at half market price.

For the non-existent investing firms, the accused devised fake profiles with names and photographs, for the officers of the alleged firms. In order to convince probable investors about the company’s legitimacy, they would use fake names during the video conference calls.

The accused provided logins to the investors for a fake online investment portal. The portal consistently showed returns on investment as positive.

In order to make the ruse authentic, the investors were instructed to wire money through an international bank account. Logins were also provided for a fake online investment platform, which showed positive ROIs consistently.

As per reports, the portal showed false wire receipts, withdrawal history, and trading activity when in reality no actual trading had occurred. The investment money was used in furtherance of the alleged scam.

Albeit, this is merely an allegation and the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. However, Stojikvoic shall face a sentence of up to 20 years if convicted.

The US Ambassador acknowledged and showed his gratitude towards Serbia for the cooperation Serbian Authorities extended in this regard. He added that working together like this would prevent cross-border crimes like these.

In Dallas, the FBI Dallas Field Office carried out the inquiry and investigation and Assistant US Attorney shall be acting as the prosecutor.

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