An unidentified person in Rome, Italy has been accused of one of the largest cryptocurrency fraud schemes ever reported in the short but significant history of space. As it stands, police authorities just say that the supposedly guilty man has the initials “F.F.” and that he is about 34 years of age. At press time, not much else is known about him.
Italy Is at the Center of a Crypto Fraud Investigation
Fraud is confirmed to have occurred in 2019 last year. It happened through a cryptocurrency exchange known as Bit Grail, which has since been bankrupt. This included a new form of digital asset known as Nano Coin. As many as 230,000 people are said to have been victimised by the scam, and around $146 million is thought to have been stolen at the time of writing.
In a statement, police forces in Rome explained:
“It is the biggest cyber-financial attack in Italy and one of the biggest in the world. For the first time in Italy and in Europe, we have documented fraudulent and rapacious conduct to the detriment of investors carried out entirely on IT platforms and via the use of virtual currencies.”
Right now, the defendant faces a variety of charges, including false claims for bankruptcy, computer fraud and money laundering. Fraud first came to light after F.F. in 2018. – as the police call him – started contact with the law enforcement authorities about two years ago to report significant amounts of stolen Nano Coin.
However, as the investigators looked further into the matter, it was reportedly clear that this person was involved in the fraud itself. Ivano Gabrielli – Head of the National Center for Cybercrime (CNAIPIC) – says:
“It is not yet clear whether he participated actively in the theft or if he simply decided not to increase security measures after discovering it.”
Either way, the police say that F.F. should have stopped the fraud. Early action has been taken. It is also unclear if he is directly responsible for the assault or if he actually (and knowingly) paved the way for someone else to take care of stealing the funds.
2020 was a strong year for crypto in the sense that bitcoin had hit its new all-time peak, and many altcoins had followed in its footsteps. However, it has also been a tough year considering the amount of digital fraud that has taken place.
So Much Theft in 2020
Recently, news came that Alexander Vinnik – the alleged developer of the “Locky” ransomware software – was jailed for five years for money laundering after being suspected of malware use by the now defunct BTC – traded to collect more than $150 million in stolen money.
In addition, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign announced that it had thwarted an effort by cyber hackers to use Monero’s campaign website to collect money from unwitting tourists.
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