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Following the uncovering of $2.5 billion worth of Bitcoin in her possession, a hospitality worker has been found guilty of money laundering in a specialized court for major fraud cases in the United Kingdom. The Southwark Crown Court ruled that Jian Wen used Bitcoin to purchase “multi-million pound houses and jewellery,” as reported by the BBC. Investigators examined 48 electronic devices and thousands of digital files, many of which were translated from Mandarin.

 

 

 

Authorities became suspicious of Wen’s sudden change in lifestyle, noting her move from living above a Chinese restaurant to renting a six-bedroom house in North London for approximately $21,420 per month in 2017.

 

The investigation intensified when Wen attempted to buy a $30 million mansion in London on Jan. 31, as reported by Cointelegraph. Despite claiming earnings from Bitcoin mining, Wen faced difficulties passing money-laundering checks while trying to purchase multiple expensive properties in London.

 

The UK police described the seizure as the “largest of its kind in the UK.” Wen was found guilty of “entering into or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement” and is scheduled for sentencing on May 10.

 

 

 

Andrew Penhale, CPS chief crown prosecutor, highlighted the increasing use of digital assets like Bitcoin in criminal activities: “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used by organized criminals to disguise and transfer assets, so that fraudsters may enjoy the benefits of their criminal conduct.”

However, a recent report from the United States Treasury Department challenges the notion that crypto is the preferred choice for money laundering, stating that cash remains the primary option.

 

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