The scope of investigation with regard to an ongoing crypto fraud scheme, Finiko, has been expanded in Russia wherein the investigators are also probing 8 further criminal cases connected with the crypto fraud scheme. Persons under investigation are former associates and officials of Finiko.
After Btc-e scam, Finiko scam has become the second-largest crypto fraud of Russia. In the past ten years, however, no crypto fraud was bigger than that of Finiko. Arrests of accused persons have been going on and several key operators of the fraud scheme have been arrested and being questioned. But the investigation involves millions of victims as well as the number of operators that looked after the affairs of Finiko. So far the investigation has been going on well and the investigators have collected extensive evidence.
Now the Interior Ministry of Russia too has come into motion and has joined the investigation. It has been reported that the Ministry of Interior has taken up at least eight cases which are all connected with Finiko fraud. All these criminal inquiries have been lodged against individuals who were once associated with Finiko. They have been named as “accused” in the 8 inquiries against the allegations of defrauding more than 6 million funds in national currency. The funds belonged to the investors with whom these accused persons had promised to give back in the shape of profits/returns. The relevant period within which these funds were taken from the investors was July 2020 till July 2021.
It has been further informed by the Ministry of Interior that all the victims were from the same area i.e. Samara. All of them were lured into the trap set up by the operators of the crypto fraud scheme, Finiko. The victims deposited collectively US$ 83,000 but none of them were paid the promised returns. In the meanwhile, it became obvious that the firm was involved in defrauding people.
Russian Ministry was of the view that from now on every evidence collected will be documented and recorded. Charges against each individual connected with the scam will be leveled after the collection of evidence. The Ministry further revealed that it needed to know the exact number of Finiko’s victims. This would help the Ministry to estimate the loss caused to the victims by the fraudulent activities of Finiko and its employees.
While the investigation is proceeding in due course, so far 3,300 victims from Russia alone have been identified. However, since the operations of Finiko expanded into the neighboring states as well, therefore, the numbers of victims will be more. The discontinued Finiko operated in countries such as Kirgizstan, EU, Ukrain, US and Kazakhstan. According to the data coming from these countries, they have collectively suffered a loss of US$ 14 Million. However, there is also an apprehension that the total losses caused by Finiko are in excess of US$ 4 Billion.