DOJ Charges Two Chinese Nationals for Allegedly Laundering Proceeds of $73,000,000 ‘Pig Butchering’ Crypto Scam

DOJ Charges Two Chinese Nationals for Allegedly Laundering Proceeds of $73,000,000 ‘Pig Butchering’ Crypto Scam

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is charging two Chinese nationals for allegedly running a pig butchering crypto scam and laundering tens of millions of dollars.

In a new press release, the DOJ says that Chinese citizens Daren Li and Yicheng Zhang were the masterminds of the pig butchering scam, which involved sending unsolicited messages to individuals to build rapport as a means of ultimately introducing them to fraudulent crypto “investment opportunities.”

Using promises of huge returns, the duo would convince victims to open bank accounts in the name of shell companies and deposit money into them. The funds would then be transferred to a bank in the Bahamas before being converted into USDT, the largest stablecoin on the market.

Prosecutors say Li and Zhang laundered $73 million while the crypto wallet they found associated with the scam had received over $340 million worth of digital assets.

Says US Attorney Martin Estrada,

“Sophisticated financial scams such as these are a dangerous threat to the financial well-being of all Americans. While my office will continue to root out and punish these deceitful schemes, I encourage everyone to educate themselves on pig butchering and other kinds of financial fraud to protect their families against such predatory activity. Vigilance is key.”

Li and Zhang have been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering as well as six counts of international money laundering. They could face up to 20 years behind bars for each count.

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