Daily fraud update: 30th January

Denise Jacksone

Accused crypto firm continues operations despite criticism

A cryptocurrency firm from the US state of Montana known as a “crypto mining farm” has continued to operate despite an order from the authorities for the firm to be shut.

CryptoWatt received an order in December of 2019 telling it that it must close down after it was linked to a legal case concerning its proprietor, Matthew Goettsche.

Goettsche is accused of carrying out a scam worth around $722m pertaining to crypto mining.

He has been associated with the alleged BitClub Network fraud which involved a fake cryptocurrency mining firm.

He was arrested over his alleged role in the scam, along with a group of other people – and CryptoWatt was also closed down at the same time.

However, two of the other people involved in CryptoWatt – the firm’s manager Rick Tabsh and its minority owner Kevin Washington – said that they would attempt to reopen it.

According to a press release published earlier this week, they have succeeded in this endeavour.

It is believed that tens of thousands of computer servers, which had fallen out of use as a result of the developments, have now been brought back to life.

It is also believed that the firm is seeking to expand its mining operations, despite the fact that these had been discredited as a result of the alleged actions of the firm’s founder.

Local press quoted Tabish, the firm’s manager, as aiming to distance the firm from the disgraced proprietor.

“The nefarious acts of the owner involving a completely separate entity should not victimize loyal local workers”, he was quoted as saying.

The next major step for the firm might be the way in which Goettsche proceeds through the judicial system.

As yet, it remains unclear what the outcome will be.

However, crypto press reported that he was facing serious accusations on the basis of major evidence against him.

Crypto investors alerted to fake Libra ICO

Traders have been warned to take care this week after Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, fell victim to a fake ICO post.

The posts, which appeared on social networking site Twitter, appeared to suggest that Libra was undergoing a fake ICO, or initial coin offering.

The posts came from a fake account called “@CoinLibraToken”.

They also went into extensive detail about the nature of the ICO – and linked it to the value of Ethereum, another cryptocurrency.

“Day 1 of ICO Ends in less than 2 Hours”, it said.

“0.1 ETH = 500,000,000…0.5 ETH = 5,000,000,000…1 ETH = 25,000,000,000…2 ETH = 100,000,000,000”, it added.

This was despite the fact that Libra has not yet been launched to the public, and as a result has no conversion value on the markets.

The fake site appeared to collect a number of followers, however.

It is believed that at one stage there were well over 10,000 followers on the page – although almost half of them were believed to be false.

Denise Jacksone

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