Gelderland man arrested for €2 mil. in Bitcoin fraud

Bitcoin cryptocurrency and euros
Bitcoin and Ethereum "tokens" on a stack of euros. November 29, outsiderzone / DepositPhotos

A 33-year-old man from Apeldoorn was arrested on Monday for fraud, forgery and money laundering. According to the authorities, he earned at least 2 million euros by convincing people to invest in Bitcoin mining computers that he never bought, De Gelderlander reports.

The man, Berry van M., was a director of two companies where people could buy computers for mining Bitcoin from 2017. The suspect managed the computers in a so-called 'mining farm'. He promised investors in mining computers that they would receive a return of around 0.3 bitcoin per month, currently around 2 thousand euros. When the investors never received these returns and could not get the computers they invested in, they went to the police.

According to the Tax Authority's investigative department FIOD, around 100 people invested about 100 million euros into this man's computers. Investigation showed that the mining computers were likely never purchased. Instead the man spent the money received from investors on all kinds of luxury items like cars, motorbikes, traveling and gambling. 

The police and FIOD raided the man's home and business premises in November last year. They seized administration and luxury goods like bags, shoes and a dirt bike. 

One of Van M.'s companies, Lelystad based Bitcoin mining company Koinz Trading, was declared bankrupt in February last year after dozens of customers accused the company of fraud and started demanding compensation. The company offered customers access to mining computers they invested in, but the customers never got access to these and therefore also not the Bitcoins they could have mined.