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Famous Thai Actor “Boom” Jaravijit Arrested for Multimillionaire Crypto Scam

On August 9, Bangkok police arrested Thai actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit, 27, in Chatuchak district for engaging in a money-laundering scheme worth approximately 797 million Baht, about 24 million US Dollars.

Mr. Jaravijit’s arrest. (Police Photo)

According to information provided by the Bankok Post, the actor was at the Major Cineplex Ratchayothin complex shooting a film when the police arrested him. The Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest on July 26 for alleged collusion in money laundering.

The press release says that Mr. Jaravit approached a Finnish businessman and proposed a deal to him. Apparently, he and his gang chose the victim after learning that he possessed large amounts of Bitcoin.
The victim who goes by the name of Aarni Otava Saarimaa was convinced to send a significant amount of money in Bitcoins (BTC) under the condition that the funds would be used to buy shares in companies that had invested in Dragon Coin’s ICO.

Supitcha JaravijitSupitcha Jaravijit. courtesy: Bangkok Post

Mr. Saarimaa explains that after the transaction he became suspicious because he had not received any document of share-selling nor had been invited to the meetings of any of these companies.

This situation prompted him to file a complaint with the Thai authorities, culminating in the arrest of Jaravit and seven other individuals, including his elderly brother Parinya Jaraviji and Supitcha Jaravijit, his elder sister.

Other four subjects who are “well-known businessmen at the Stock Exchange of Thailand” may also be involved.

The Thai newspaper says that a multimillion-dollar scam carried out by using cryptos, made it quite difficult to trace:

“The complainant told police at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) that 797 million baht worth of bitcoin was transferred to the suspects’ e-wallets. The complainant never received any dividends from the claimed companies nor an invitation to their shareholders’ meetings.

It was also disclosed that the “companies” did not invest in Dragon Coin and that the suspects repeatedly sidestepped questions when quizzed about what was happening.”

As explained, Jaravi would have sent the funds to some relatives’ wallets. The Police have already impounded assets worth about 200 million baht.

Mr. Jaravi has denied the charges and is waiting for a prompt defense. The Bankok Post reports he was “temporarily released the actor on a 2-million-baht bail bond on condition he does not leave the country”


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Bitcoin Trader Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud, Faces 20 Years in Prison

Joe E. Montroll of Saginaw Texas is facing up to 20 years in prison after admitting to lying to investigators about his role in the theft of Bitcoins deposited by customers of his platform. 2018 has seen a raft of arrests and convictions in the cryptocurrency space as law enforcement, and financial regulators work hard to sanitize the industry.

Platform Owner Stole Bitcoin Belonging to Investors

Before his arrest, Montroll operated a pair of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency business – WeExchange and BitFunder. WeExchange was a Bitcoin depository and currency trading service while BitFunder was a platform that enabled customers to buy and trade tokenized shares listed on the service.

When the going was good, Montroll allegedly took illegal possession of customer Bitcoin deposits to fund his lavish lifestyle. Prosecutors on the case say he converted some of the Bitcoins invested by customers into U.S. dollars. He then spent the money on exotic vacations, grocery shopping as well as various personal expenses.

Another Mt. Gox-esque Swindle

It all went bad for Montroll when BitFunder suffered a cyber-attack in 2013. Suspected hackers took advantage of loopholes in the platform’s security to siphon more than 6,000 BTC. Montroll was suddenly in a position where he didn’t have enough to cover the stolen funds just like with Mt. Gox, the popular defunct Bitcoin exchange.

Instead of coming out clean to his customers, Montroll perpetrated a ruse that portrayed the platform as still being solvent. He continued to promote BitFunder and was able to raise an additional 978 BTC.

During the hack investigation, Montroll is accused of sending fake screenshots to investigators showing non-existent Bitcoin holdings. By lying to investigators, Montroll put himself at risk of obstruction charges being brought up against him.

On Monday, Montroll pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott on charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

What do you think about Montroll’s fate? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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Chinese Police Arrest Crypto Miner for Power Theft

Authorities in China have arrested a man for allegedly stealing a significant amount of power in order to fuel a clandestine cryptocurrency mine.

Police in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui Province seized more than 200 computers used for bitcoin and ether mining after the local power grid company reported a spike in electricity use, according to Xinhua news agency.

One suspect allegedly stole 150,000 kW hours of electricity between April and May 2018, when the power grid first alerted police of the theft. The Chinese national, identified only by his surname Ma, reportedly told police that he dreamed of making money through crypto mining.

He bought the hardware in April, but later found out the daily power cost was over 6,000 yuan ($921). As a result, Ma said, his mining operation was not profitable at the time of his arrest.

Allegations of power theft have led to the arrest of bitcoin miners in China before. In April, there were at least two cases where bitcoin miners were taken into custody for allegedly stealing power, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

In another instance, six individuals were arrested in Tianjin. Police alleged that the suspects used 600 cryptocurrency miners to generate bitcoin with power taken from the local power grid. Xinhua News agency said that this may have been the “largest power theft case in recent years.”

Crypto miners image via Shutterstock

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