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The Department of Justice has announced the arrest of two Chinese nationals involved in a cryptocurrency scam that defrauded victims of at least $73 million.

US authorities apprehended Yicheng Zhang in Los Angeles on Thursday, following an indictment unveiled in California’s central district court. Meanwhile, Daren Li, who holds dual citizenship in China and St. Kitts and Nevis, was detained at the Atlanta airport in April.

Pig Butchering Case Evidence Passport C2de0b49d7

The two individuals are accused of participating in a cryptocurrency investment scam known as “pig butchering,” a scheme that has grown into a global billion-dollar industry. According to the indictment, Zhang and Li directed their co-conspirators to establish US bank accounts under the guise of shell companies. Victims were lured online to deposit money into these accounts, which was then laundered through US financial institutions before being transferred to bank accounts in the Bahamas.

In a statement, US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, “While fraud in the crypto markets takes on many forms and hides in many far-off places, its perpetrators aren’t beyond the law’s reach.” 

 Both Zhang and Li are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and six counts of international money laundering, each carrying a potential 20-year prison sentence if convicted.


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