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Daily fraud update: 25th March

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Blockchain firm announces new partnership

A leading firm in the blockchain analytics space has announced that it will work alongside an exchange to develop its new compliance and KYC processes.

Chainalysis, which is known for being a major blockchain security firm, said that it would work alongside the peer to peer firm Paxful.

It is understood that Paxful will be making the most of Chainalysis’ tools, such as its so-called “know your transaction” – or KYT – devices.

It will also be using software tools which are known in the industry as “reactor” tools. These are usually used to investigate Bitcoin transactions which are deemed to be particularly risky for some reason.

The move marks the first time that Chainalysis, which is a well-known name in the crypto sphere, has paired up with an exchange-oriented platform.

In a statement provided to crypto news website The Block, Chainalysis confirmed that the relationship with Paxful was the first of its kind for the company.

“Paxful, which accounts for around 25% of all P2P cryptocurrency activity, is currently the only P2P exchange Chainalysis currently works with”, a spokesperson for the firm said.

“We are open to talking to other P2P exchanges”, it added.

Accused in crypto fraud scheme seek release over coronavirus 

Two men who are in jail over accusations that they ran a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme have asked a court to release them from prison on the grounds that an outbreak of coronavirus might hit their jail.

Jobadiah Weeks and Matthew Goettsche have each gone ahead with a motion calling on the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark in the US state of New Jersey to let them out.

The pair stand accused of running a scheme called BitClub Network between the years 2014 and 2019.

They supposedly operated a Ponzi scheme which was worth $722m in total.

Two others are also accused of crimes.

In total, the four are up against charges of conspiracy to sell unregistered securities.

Weeks and Goettsche in particular are also are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to a lawyer for Goettsche, Rodney Villazor, “it will be nearly impossible to stop its spread” when the coronavirus reaches the prison.

He claimed that “the risk to Mr. Goettsche’s health and safety grows with each day that he remains incarcerated” there.

A legal representative for Weeks said that the authorities in the area had “an exceptionally poor record of maintaining detainee health”.

“Given the noted risks of illness through inadequate food service and environmental safety at the Essex County Correctional Facility, a swift outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility is virtually inevitable”, the lawyer added.

This comes after a prison inspector discovered last year that the prison had a number of problems.

The report claimed, for example, that there were a number of hygiene problems including “’raw, spoiled, or expired’ meat, ‘raw chicken’, ‘expired and moldy bread’, and ‘hamburgers that were foul smelling and unrecognizable’”.