Taiwan indicts Bitcoin traders for violations of banking act

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Seven people who were arrested on June 13, last year, for allegedly operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme were officially charged with violating multiple banking and business related laws on Friday, according to prosecutors.

Although the Bitcoin investment scheme would have been in violation of the law even if successful, the scheme in question was also a fraud that promised investors large-yield returns of up to 355 percent after a year of investment in the cryptocurrency, prosecutors pointed out.

However, most investors did not see any returns after February 2018 and returns stopped altogether after April 24 the same year, prosecutors said.

Among the seven charged, a 47-year-old man surnamed Lin (林), established an office in Taichung's West District to attract investors from Taiwan and China, according to the indictment filed by Taichung District Prosecutors Office.

Lin attracted investment from Fuzhou, Shanghai and Wuxi cities, as well as Pingtan County in Fujian Province, the indictment showed.

Since October 2016, the group has attracted about US$51 million in investment, the Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Justice (MJIB) said in June last year, adding that more than 1,000 people in Taiwan have been defrauded.

After examination of witness testimonies, bank accounts and other evidence, Lin and six accomplices were officially charged with violating Taiwan's Banking and Multi-Level Marketing Supervision acts, according to prosecutors.