A 33-year-old man in the Netherlands has been arrested for bitcoin mining fraud worth over €2 million ($2.2 million).
Dutch tax authority’s investigative department, FIOD, announced the news Monday, saying that the man was a director of two private limited companies where he convinced around 100 people to buy computers for mining bitcoins that he probably never purchased.
The man is accused of fraud, forgery, and money laundering, the department said, adding that he allegedly spent investor money on luxury items such as cars, motorbikes, travel, and gambling.
The suspect started his businesses in 2017 by promising investors return of around 0.3 bitcoin a month (currently worth around $2,389). When investors did not get the returns and their mining computers back, several of them filed complaints.
Back in November 2018, the FIOD and police raided the suspect’s home and business premises and seized expensive goods such as bags, shoes, and a bike.
The FIOD said fighting money laundering is the priority for the government as it is one of the “serious” crimes.
Earlier this year, Dutch financial authorities were planning a licensing scheme for cryptocurrency firms to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the nation’s central bank, and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets suggested that fiat-to-crypto exchanges and custody solution providers must be licensed as cryptocurrencies carry “high financial crime risks.”