23 Nov, 2021 @ 15:45
1 min read

Cryptocurrency scammer who lived luxury lifestyle on Spain’s Costa del Sol arrested in Latvia

Bitcoin investors claim they lost over €250 million in first-ever crypto-currency fraud case before Spain's National Court
In this photo illustration the Bitcoin cryptocurrency commemorative coins seen on circuit board. (Photo by Mykola Tys / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) *** Local Caption *** 31657269

A SCAMMER, who lived a life of luxury on the Costa del Sol while allegedly fleecing his victims of at least €500,000, has been traced to Latvia.

He and his cronies rented villas at €1,000 a night, wore designer clothing, drove high-end cars and dined in some of Marbella’s most exclusive restaurants, all the time using money that wasn’t theirs.

They found their targets via aggressive social media campaigns, going to the length of hiring an actor to shoot promotional videos purporting him to be the ‘inventor’ of a new cryptocurrency to rival Bitcoin.

The Guardia’s UCO cybercrime unit tracked down the suspect to Latvia

The real ‘inventor’ of the ‘Hodlife’ token was in fact, according to police, simply setting investors up for a fall.

His targets were persuaded to send cryptocurrencies to a digital wallet for ‘investment’ in the new token. But once enough online currency was collected, it was transferred to other digital wallets and disappeared from the accounts of the victims.

The 30-year-old ringleader had also been spotted in Ibiza and Tenerife where he lived a similar luxury lifestyle. His stays in high-end villas were mixed with stopovers in luxury hotels, where he used the free wi-fi to run the scam in an attempt to cover his tracks.

Police say that the 30-year-old Latvian suspect, who has been arrested in his home country, has been on the run from an international arrest warrant issued in the US in 2015 for a series of frauds.

They believe he may be involved in a series of online scams in Spain that have netted another €600,000, with investigations continuing.

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