The alleged scams with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or Ethereum, have burst into the Spanish courts, where complaints and lawsuits from thousands of affected people who have seen evaporation accumulate hundreds of millions of euros through pyramid schemes.
Cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that are based on encrypted security codes to certify electronic transactions for the purchase and sale of goods and services, and of these there are already about 5,000, although only 40 of them have liquidity within the market.
As of September 2020, the total capitalization of this market was 336,000 million dollars.
At the moment, in Spain the largest alleged fraud by volume defrauded is that of Algorithms Group, a bitcoin investment company based in London that could have defrauded more than 280 million euros to about 3,000 investors and that the National Court is already investigating.
The complaint, presented by Zaballos Lawyers, lists a series of alleged crimes such as fraud, intrusion, money laundering, corporate crimes, misappropriation and illicit association, and is directed against Javier Biosca -in search and capture since last May 10-, his wife Paloma Gallardo, and his son Javier.
The lawyer Emilia Zaballos, president of the Association of People Affected by Investments in Bitcoins, advocates the creation of specialized courts in these operations, and regrets the laziness that, in her opinion, have been shown by both the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and the Bank of Spain, which warns about these financial bars but does not prevent them from operating.
Below the volume allegedly defrauded by Algorithms is Nimbus, who according to a forensic report by the Civil Guard would have scammed near 136 million euros.
After a complaint in a court in Huelva by the Aranguez Abogados law firm, the National High Court must rule on its competence, after the court was inhibited.
The brain of the plot is Andrea Zanon, that between 2009 and 2016 he was responsible for the Middle East risk area of the World Bank; In 2020 it created Nimbus in Malta, and in October of that year the company already stopped meeting commitments with its investors, around 4,000.
According to the complaint, Nimbus was following a pyramid scheme or Ponzi scheme, whereby instead of buy and sell crypto assetsIn fact, it did not develop any type of financial activity but limited itself to paying the interests of the first investors with the capital offered by the following ones.
The Nimbus operation, which guaranteed returns of between 7% and 15% per month, could be constitutive of the crimes of fraud, money laundering and criminal organization.
Laundering and criminal organization
Another of the cases that the National Court is already investigating is that of Arbistar 2.0, whose economic damage currently exceeds 41 million euros but could amount up to 100 million.
The head of the Central Court of Instruction number 4, Jose Luis Calama, accepted the inhibition of a court in Tenerife on understanding that those investigated, led by Santiago Fuentes Jover, could have incurred in alleged aggravated fraud, criminal organization and a continuing crime of falsification of a commercial document.
Arbistar allegedly devised a fraud scheme promising investors returns of between 8% and 15% per month, paying them weekly – always on Saturdays – and giving them the option of adding it to the initial amounts invested or opt for the refund.
As in the case of Nimbus, what allegedly happened was that they used a part of the money obtained from investors to deliver it to previous investors in payment of the high agreed interest, the judge points out.
Also in the National audience, the support judge of the central investigating court No. 6, Elías Gadea, opened proceedings at the end of April after a lawsuit filed against the Kuailian cryptocurrency platform, founded in September 2018 by Cristian Carmona, David Ruiz de León, Javier Hermosilla and Miguel Tello.
According to the judge’s order, investors exchanged euros for Ethereum through a virtual wallet with a contract of 1,000 days duration.
The judge has indications that, in addition to the pyramidal operation with cryptocurrencies, Kuailian could have committed tax fraud, being domiciled in Estonia although it operates in Spain, as well as money laundering, although it has not yet quantified the volume of the alleged scam.