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Latvian national extradited to US for crypto and wire fraud

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Latvian national extradited to US for crypto and wire fraud

Ivars Auzins, a Latvian citizen, accused of committing securities and wire fraud using eight companies suspected of mining or investing in crypto assets, has been extradited to the United States to face a indicted on six counts.

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Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, underline:

“Auzins perpetrated a brazen scheme in which he defrauded investors who funneled millions of dollars into fraudulent cryptocurrency.”

He added:

“This office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute those who lie and steal from investors, including those like the accused who operate from overseas.”

The indictment noted that Auzins concealed his identity under pseudonyms. As a result, he operated “Auzins Entities,” which advertised crypto mining and investments through websites, social media, and email campaigns. According to the announcement:

“Some of the Auzins entities – Denaro and Bitroad Limited – claimed to raise funds from investors via initial coin offerings (ICO). Other Auzins entities claimed to be cryptocurrency investment platforms that offered investors different investment plans and profit rates.

The Auzins entities were able to siphon off over $7 million worth of crypto assets from investors in the US and elsewhere. This happened between November 2017 and July 2019, and soon after, the Auzins Entities went underground.

Meanwhile, a recent report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis underline that crypto scams dropped 65% in 2022.

The drop in scam revenue was linked to the bearish momentum of Bitcoin, which saw the major cryptocurrency drop at least 70% from its all-time high (ATH) price of $69,000 recorded in November of the year. last.

The Chainalysis report pointed out that the number of people falling victim to crypto scams has decreased.

Image source: Shutterstock

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