Woman Found Guilty of Laundering Bitcoin in UK Linked to $6.3 Billion China Fraud

Woman Convicted in UK for Bitcoin Laundering Linked to $6.3 Billion China Fraud

Mar 20, 2024 - 10:52
Mar 20, 2024 - 10:52
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Woman Found Guilty of Laundering Bitcoin in UK Linked to $6.3 Billion China Fraud
Woman Found Guilty of Laundering Bitcoin in UK Linked to $6.3 Billion China Fraud

A woman has been convicted of laundering bitcoin in the United Kingdom, allegedly linked to a staggering $6.3 billion fraud in China. The verdict was delivered after a trial held in a London court this week.

The accused, Wen Jian, faced accusations of converting bitcoin into cash and assets as part of efforts to conceal the proceeds from a colossal fraud amounting to 5 billion pounds ($6.3 billion). Prosecutors asserted that Wen Jian played a role in masking the origins of funds purportedly embezzled from approximately 130,000 Chinese investors ensnared in fraudulent wealth schemes spanning from 2014 to 2017.

It's noteworthy that Wen Jian was not directly implicated in orchestrating the underlying fraud scheme. Prosecutors identified the alleged mastermind behind the scam as Zhang Yadi, whose true identity is Qian Zhimin, a person known to Wen.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement authorities in Britain made a substantial seizure of cryptocurrency, confiscating wallets containing more than 61,000 bitcoin. This seizure stands out as one of the largest operations of its kind globally.

According to prosecutors, the value of the 61,000 bitcoin seized amounted to approximately 1.4 billion pounds at the time of police intervention in 2021. Presently, the seized cryptocurrency holds a valuation exceeding 3 billion pounds.

Throughout her trial, Wen Jian vehemently denied involvement in any illicit activities, presenting testimony that Zhang Yadi portrayed herself as independently affluent, and Wen remained unaware of any criminal enterprise.

Following deliberation, the jury delivered a guilty verdict against Wen Jian on one count of money laundering. However, they were unable to reach a consensus on two other charges.

In a subsequent development, prosecutor Max Baines announced that the Crown Prosecution Service in Britain would not pursue a retrial for the two unresolved charges against Wen Jian. As a result, the guilty verdict stands.

Wen Jian is scheduled to face sentencing next month for the singular count of money laundering for which she was convicted.

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