A crypto fraudster that is suspected to scamming his victims out of nearly 500,000 pounds has been arrested in Latvia. Prior to his capture, the man was living in Spain’s Costa del Sol, a resort town. He is accused of using investor funds to spend on a lavish lifestyle. He is believed to have been staying in luxury hotels, buying expensive designer clothing, and enjoying fine dining in top-rated restaurants.
Latvian Man in Custody After Using Crypto-Invested Customer Funds
The man – who is described as a Latvian native – has been wanted for the past six years by Interpol. He was described by law enforcement as being “one of the biggest cryptocurrency con artists based in Spain” and was caught by the Guardia Civil’s cybercrime unit.
It is believed that as many as 1,000 individuals fell victim to the scam and were swindled out of funds. The man presented them with a new token he was calling “Hodlife.” All who invested were promised commissions based on future transactions involving the crypto asset. Instead, the man took all the funds in question and used them to up the quality of his own life.
In a statement, the Guardia Civil said:
To spread word about the project, the arrested man used the most common digital communication channels to stage aggressive publicity campaigns on Twitter, Telegram and on a bespoke webpage. He very quickly amassed a large community of users who, thanks to the messages sent from these platforms, were duped into depositing their cryptocurrencies in the new business.
As a means of appearing more legitimate, the man even hired an actor to pose as a promoter and spokesman for the token. The actor appeared in several videos that made their way in and around social media platforms. It didn’t take long for people to realize that they had been tricked, and several got in touch with law enforcement authorities, which prompted the Guardia Civil to get involved.
Their investigation led them to several digital wallets that were owned by the man in question. It was later discovered that he spent many months out of each year living in Spain. By looking at his internet activity, they were able to determine his location in Costa del Sol.
A Life of Luxury
Guardia Civil continued with:
Officers on the trail of the suspect uncovered the high-end lifestyle enjoyed by both him and his accomplices. They lived in luxury villas that cost more than €1,000 a day to rent, they hired top-of-the-range cars, and they spent enormous sums of money in designer clothes shops and in the Costa del Sol’s finest restaurants… Once his identity had been established beyond doubt, the Guardia Civil activated all the relevant mechanisms of international police cooperation and picked up the fraudster’s trail through different countries as he hired cars and mansions and obtained credit cards and bank accounts with false documents.