Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that two men were charged with producing false identity documents and aggravated identity theft in connection with operating an illegal e-commerce business known as "SecondEye." From at least 2011, the individuals, through various versions of its website, electronically produced, sold and transferred digital versions of false government-issued identity and other documents. As part of the operation, the defendants accepted more than $1.5 million in bitcoin transfers from customers.
This week, the DOJ announced that another individual, Sheng-Wen Cheng, pled guilty to various fraud charges for engaging in a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $7 million in government-guaranteed loans designed to provide relief to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of Cheng's fraud involved lying to investors in his blockchain-based peer-to-peer lending platform.
The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey recently introduced legislation banning the use of cryptocurrency for payments throughout the country. The payments ban is set to go into effect on April 30; the trading of cryptocurrencies appears to be unaffected by the regulation. In related news, following the announcement of the new regulation, hundreds of thousands of users of a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange, Thodex, were allegedly left unable to access their digital assets after the trading platform abruptly halted trading Wednesday, spurring fraud allegations and criminal complaints. The CEO of the exchange is reportedly missing.
Earlier this week, a decentralized finance (DeFi) Polygon Network-powered protocol, EasyFi, reported it suffered a hack in which $80 million of assets were stolen. The hacker reportedly transferred out 2.98 EAST tokens and $6 million from liquidity pools in U.S. dollars, Dai and USDT. Amounts were then allegedly transferred to an unknown wallet on the Ethereum network. A $1 million reward has been offered by the company's CEO and founder to the hacker for returning the funds in full.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
- Two Men Charged with Producing False Identity Documents and Aggravated Identity Theft
- Fintech CEO Pleads Guilty To Multiple Fraud Schemes, Including $7 Million COVID-19 Pandemic Loan Fraud And Securities Fraud
- Turkey: Studies on the regulation regarding the disuse of crypto assets in payments have been completed.
- Turkey to Ban the Use of Crypto for Payments; Bitcoin Falls
- Turkish State News Reports Crypto Exchange CEO Has Disappeared With User Funds
- DeFi Protocol EasyFi Reports Hack, Loss of Over $80M in Funds
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