A Chinese national is reportedly being put on trial in the UK over an alleged $6.5 billion fraud involving Bitcoin (BTC).
According to a new Reuters report, the accused converted BTC into cash and property in an attempt to launder money from a scheme that took place in China.
A woman, identified in the report as Wen Jian, is being accused of attempting to hide the fraudulent sources of the money, which was allegedly stolen from over 100,000 Chinese residents between 2014 and 2017.
Jian now faces three counts of money laundering, which she denies. Prosecutors are not alleging that the 42-year-old was involved in the initial fraud.
According to London Prosecutor Gillian Jones, the orchestrator of the fraud was also a beneficiary, identified as Qian Zhimin, a woman also known as Zhang Yadi.
After Chinese authorities began investigating the fraud in 2017, Zhang fled to Great Britain under the fake name above. While many associated with the fraudulent scheme have been arrested in China, Zhang’s whereabouts are still unknown.
According to the report, defrauded Chinese investors have yet to get their money back.
According to the prosecution, Wen acted as a “front person” to assist in hiding the source of the illegally gained funds. Zhang planned to launder the funds through BTC and other properties.
Now, a jury will decide if Wen was aware that the money was stolen or not.
The trial is expected to conclude by the end of March.
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Featured Image: Shutterstock/jovan vitanovski/Chuenmanuse
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