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The Pingtung County Field Office of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) recently received report that youngsters Tien ***-xian and others have been enjoying a lavish lifestyle with luxury automobiles through illegally acquired money. The case was reported to Prosecutor Liu Jun-yi of the Pingtung District Prosecutors Office, who then directed the investigation. It was found in the case that since October 2016, a total of seven suspects, including Tian ***-xian, Xu ***-lin, and Xu ***-hong, have been involved in fraud against numerous and random individuals by peddling to them a sham financial program called "A*** Group Financial Plan." The plan claimed that an investment of USD10, 000 per lot guaranteed immediate monthly return of 3 percent, which was convertible to TWD10, 000. However, on 25th December 2017 the payments abruptly ceased, by which time the total fraud income had amounted to over TWD30 million. During this period, the methods of fraud underwent changes as well. In August 2017, an online financial consulting agency called "Wu Hui Ren Sheng" was established on the social networking website Facebook, with Tian ***-xian acting as the leader and Xu ***-lin in charge of the finances. The group sought to recruit new members from the general public by masquerading themselves as futures consultants or investment experts. They claimed to manage funds in futures trading on behalf of the prospective members, and guaranteed returns as well as principals and interests to attract interest widely from the public; while margin trading in foreign exchange were conducted with USD1, 000 per lot, and investors paid operation fee of TWD6, 000 monthly. The current method is to recruit through the unauthorized operation of trading, futures-managing and consulting businesses. More than 100 individuals from around the country had joined, and the amount of illegal handling of funds has reached TWD117.63 million.
The Taichung City Field Division of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) and the Taichung City Prosecutors Office received a report in December 2017, which alleged that I** International Savings Group's Lin XXX-chieh and others were suspected on the grounds of having boasted and bragged to certain people that they could acquire great profits from price differences by investing in bitcoin. Lin and others claimed that investors could purchase investment packages worth US$100 to US$7,000 in exchange for Reserve Money (RM). The RM was alleged being able to appreciate 0.35% on a daily basis, which would accumulate to 355% percent of the principal and interest one year later. The fraud case attracted new investors with the latest trendy products. In view of this, the MJIB and Taichung City Prosecutors Office organized a special investigation committee to delve into the details, track illicit gains and ascertain the bitcoin flow, in an intention of obtaining concrete evidence of money fraud and money laundering committed by Lin and others. On June 13, the case prosecutor of the Taichung City Prosecutors Office, Hung Kuo-chao, received a search warrant from Taiwan Taichung District Court and led more than 60 special agents of MJIB to search for the crime group. Eight offices and homes of the crime group in Taichung City and Taipei City were raided in the concurrent search effort. Eight suspects, including Lin XXX-chieh were interrogated and their statements taken. The evidence obtained included their bank passbooks, investment documents and lists. As many as 26 bank accounts belonging to the fraud group were successfully frozen and 196 bitcoins (market value equivalent to more than NT$40 million) were also seized. Initial estimates revealed that within a short 9 months the fraud group looted more than NT$1.5 billion in mainland China and Taiwan. Lin XXX-chieh, as the group's mastermind, and others were interrogated overnight. The suspects were set a bail for 100,000 to 10 million NTD.
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