Sweden Urges Ukraine to Look Into $70 Million Cryptocurrency Fraud Scheme

Friday 3 March 2020, 3:45 AM AEST - 2 months ago

During a meeting with high-level officials in Ukraine, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde has reportedly urged the countrys government to look into a $70 million cryptocurrency scheme that allegedly committed fraud at an industrial level.

According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, the scheme was revealed after a whistleblower provided Swedish news outlet Dagens Nyheter (DN) a cache of documents that exposed the so-called Milton Group, which runs a call center in Kyiv from which it cold calls thousands of victims in countries throughout the world.

The scheme is believed to have defrauded up to a thousand people with promises of get-rich-quick investment schemes in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and in other markets. The Milton Group allegedly defrauded people out of over $70 million, often older citizens, with one woman being forced to sell her house to cover her debt.

Ann Linde, Swedens Foreign Minister, was quoted as saying:

It is really upsetting to see how they bluff Swedish retirees who have to leave their homes and live on a minimum subsistence level. And then they sit there, laughing.

In various cases, according to the OCCRP, victims were lured into Milton Groups scheme via adverts they saw on Facebook, which used false celebrity endorsements to promote get-rich-quick schemes. As CryptoGlobe reported, these fake endorsements often promise returns of over 4,000%.

Facebook has, for its part in the scheme, seen some consequences. Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana, the ex-husband of celebrity superstar Janet Jackson, has sued the social media giant over fraudulent advertisements using his image to promote these scams in the Middle East.

Anders Ygeman, the Swedish Minister for Digitization and Energy, was quoted as saying:

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