Pig Butchering Scam Arrests


An indictment was unsealed in the Central District of California May 16 charging two Chinese nationals alleging they played leading roles in a scheme to launder proceeds from cryptocurrency investment scams.

According to court documents, the conspirators allegedly managed an international syndicate that laundered proceeds of cryptocurrency investment scams, which are also known as “pig butchering.”

Victims of the schemes under investigation were fraudulently induced into transferring millions of dollars to U.S. bank accounts opened in the names of dozens of shell companies whose sole apparent purpose was to facilitate the laundering of fraud proceeds.

A network of money launderers then facilitated the transfer of those funds to other domestic and international bank accounts and cryptocurrency platforms in a manner designed to conceal the source, nature, ownership, and control of the funds.

The fraud scheme involved more than $73 million laundered through U.S. financial institutions to bank accounts in The Bahamas, and converted to the virtual asset USDT, or Tether. A cryptocurrency wallet involved in the scheme received more than $341 million in virtual assets.

Daren Li, 41, a dual citizen of China and St. Kitts and Nevis, and a resident of China, Cambodia, and the United Arab Emirates, was arrested on April 12 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and subsequently transported to the Central District of California. Yicheng Zhang, 38, a Chinese national and resident of Temple City, California, was arrested May 16 in Los Angeles.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here