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ACE Exchange founder detained for Taiwan's biggest crypto scam

Pan and four others were detained following questioning, while the company insists its business as usual under new management

(ACE Exchange screenshot)


(ACE Exchange screenshot)  

TAIPEI, Taiwan (Taiwan News) — The founder of ACE Exchange David Pan (潘奕彰) has been detained over his alleged involvement in a crypto scam, but according to a company press release he is no longer in charge and it is business as usual under new leadership.

The crypto trading platform is one of the country's three largest. Pan, a National Taiwan University business school graduate and former KPMG executive, founded the company in 2018. It is not known when he was stripped of his position at ACE.

The trading platform is said to be fully controlled by Michael C.H. Wang (王晨桓), who is also the managing partner of Chien Yeh Law Office, since autumn.

On Thursday (Jan. 4), 14 people were arrested, including Pan, and Spencer Lin (林耿弘), who was sentenced last year to eight years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme and dumping worthless IBCoin on investors. Even so, Lin had not been detained until Thursday.

Over 100 people are believed to have invested in various worthless crypto products listed at ACE and have incurred huge losses. The illegal gains are estimated to exceed NT$1 billion (US$32 million) over three years.

The Taipei Prosecutor's Office seized NT$111.52 million in cash at Lin's residence, along with NT$180 million of cryptocurrency deposits at multiple offices in Taipei, New Taipei, and Taichung. Pan and Lin were among five people who were detained following questioning and the rest were released on bail with travel restrictions.

A day after news of Pan's arrest and the investigation of ACE employees broke, the platform said no employees were involved in the scam and they were questioned by prosecutors as witnesses. The statement said the trading platform is committed to regulatory compliance under new CEO Wang's leadership.

"The cryptocurrencies in question have all been removed from the trading platform and the operation of the company has not been and will not be affected," added the company statement.