On Friday, Viennese lawyers filed charges with the public prosecutor’s office for serious fraud. As reported, up to 10,000 (!) Austrians are said to have lost part of their entire savings in trading with the digital currency.
The country’s biggest crime case to date concerning the cryptocurency Bitcoin has been causing a stir for weeks. Behind this is an investor fraud of up to 100 million euros. The Viennese law firm Lansky, Ganzger & Partner already represents 70 victims.
The allegedly risk-free financial product (a deposit insurance of 35,000 bitcoins was promised) was sold in sects-like sales talks.
The investment plans – most recently advertised with returns of four percent per week – worked in this way: The invested digital money was exchanged into “real” currency, then shares were bought, sold and exchanged back into the cryptocurrency.
The faces of this dubious construction are “three musketeers” – two brothers and one friend, all Austrian. But the lawyers want to find out who is the actual brain behind the “Bitcoin Mafia”, an alleged “successful young entrepreneur”. Not abroad, but in Austria. Now it’s up to the courts.