Horse Racing Group Investigated Over Possible Crypto Scam

Aussie horse racing authorities are looking into allegations that a top thoroughbred operation may have been involved in a worldwide money-laundering scheme linked to sham cryptocurrency venture OneCoin.

Phoenix Thoroughbreds, the co-owner of Australian group 1 winner Farnan was banned from racing in France less than a month ago after allegations in a court case taking place in New York.

Witnesses have accused the owner, Amer Abdulaziz Salman, of embezzling $161 million through the OneCoin cryptocurrency scheme.

A massive scam involving a non-blockchain based cryptocurrency, OneCoin, has put a $7.2 billion hole in the pockets of investors in Australia, Europe, and Africa. Investors who bought OneCoin tokens after being told their value would increase had an unpleasant surprise when they realized they could not exchange these tokens to fiat or any other cryptocurrency.

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One Australian citizen, Harry Testoni, explained how the scam works.

“They were manipulating everything, and said, ‘it was worth this and that’ and then when you try to withdraw money they say, ‘you can’t draw money out of it’. It was dead money. Gone. Finished.”

Horses may have been bought using embezzled funds

Australian authorities suspect that up to $25 million of the laundered money was used to buy prize racehorses that compete on the Australian circuit through Phoenix Thoroughbreds.

Greg Nichols, the chairman of Racing Australia stated that they were in talks with legal authorities both domestic and foreign. Amid fears that the allegations could compromise public confidence in the sport, a decision is still pending.

“The obvious place for these allegations to be considered is within the legal system but it doesn’t preclude us from making our own observations and coming to our own conclusions beforehand,” Greg Nichols said in a statement this Saturday.

If convicted, Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ Dubai-based owner Amer Abdulaziz Salman could face serious penalties, including the suspension of his company from competing in Racing Australia.

Cristian Lipciuc
Author

Cristian Lipciuc

Cristian Lipciuc is a blockchain journalist working with startup companies across multiple domains such as freelancing, app development & cryptocurrency. Cristian specializes in applied blockchain technologies, cryptocurrency integration, the adoption of new technologies by governments, and cybersecurity.

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