Police in Taiwan have arrested 15 individuals for their part in an alleged cryptocurrency scam involving IBCoin, according to a report from news outlet Focus Taiwan. The report states that over 30 investors were defrauded out of 250 million New Taiwan dollars (NT$), the equivalent to about $8 million USD.
Citing a press conference by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), the article notes that the scam's "main leader," who is identified as Lin, purchased IBCoin tokens from foreign traders at a price of NT$1.50 per token (about $0.05 USD) in 2017. With the help of a team, Lin was then able to sell the tokens at NT$50-100 per token (about $1.62 to $3.25 USD), promising investors large returns. In reality, according to the report, the coin had no real value.
In order to draw investors in, the scammers would purportedly show off their IBCoin earnings on social media, posting photos of expensive looking cars and "lavish lifestyles." Once investors exchanged their money for IBCoins, the promised returns never came to fruition.
The scam was initially brought to the authorities' attention when one investor reported buying NT$600,000 (about $19,500 USD) worth of IBCoin in September 2018. The arrests were carried out over two separate days, and police reportedly seized NT$2.02 million (about $65,600 USD) in cash, three cars, and written instructions on how to commit fraud.
The arrest comes on the heels of a December 2018 investigation and arrest of a man allegedly mining nearly 100 million yuan (about $15 million) worth of Bitcoin and Ether using stolen electricity from 17 different businesses in Taiwan. The man, identified as Yang, was able to rent space in internet cafés and toy stores and hire electricians to redesign the wiring so that the stolen electricity would not be metered. Altogether, Yang was able to steal up to NT$100 million (about $3.25 million USD) worth of electricity.