Two suspects from South Korea have allegedly used a pyramid scheme that involves bitcoin to swindle some $20 million from investors in the country.
The news was made public as a judge from Seoul’s Incheon District Court has issued a fine of $15 million and $8 million respectively to the two men on April 19, according to the South Korea news agency Yonhap.
The report said the two suspects started the alleged scheme since 2015 and initially received 26 billion won (or $24 million) from investors. They subsequently built the multi-level company by promising investors with high returns through investing in bitcoin.
“The multi-level transaction is a risk to the socioeconomic order with mass production of many victims,” the judge was quoted as saying in the report, and stated that the fine is given based on the considerable amount of investment they have allegedly attracted from victims.
The report comes just days after South Korea’s neighboring country China has also beefed up efforts in cracking down multi-level marketing schemes that are allegedly under disguise of bitcoin investment.
As reported on Wednesday, Chinese police force has arrested founders of a claimed nationwide cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that had amassed $13 million from over 13,000 people.
Gavel image via Shutterstock
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.