Chinese Citizens Charged by US Department of Justice in $73 Million Crypto Scam

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken legal action against two Chinese nationals involved in a $73 million cryptocurrency scam. According to a report by Reuters on May 17, Daren Li, a citizen of China and St. Kitts and Nevis, was arrested in April at the Atlanta airport, while Yicheng Zhang was apprehended in Los Angeles on May 16.

Both individuals are accused of defrauding victims of up to $73 million in a pig butchering crypto scam scheme, which has gained notoriety in recent months. The defendants face charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and six counts of international money laundering, with a potential 20-year prison sentence for each count if found guilty.

Lisa Monaco, the US Deputy Attorney General, emphasized that those involved in crypto fraud cannot evade the law, despite the evolving nature of digital crimes. The defendants allegedly directed co-conspirators to establish US bank accounts through companies, where victims were instructed to transfer funds.

Regulators have recently increased efforts to combat crypto scams and related incidents in the market through proposed regulations and industry guidelines. However, regulatory uncertainty in the United States has led to legal disputes between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and crypto firms.

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