A purported crypto entrepreneur who found himself in the news last December for a money-throwing stunt on a Hong Kong street was arrested on Thursday for suspected fraud related to sale of virtual currency mining equipment.
Wong Ching-kit, a 25-year-old man who came to be known as “Coin Young Master” due to his reported fortune from investment in Bitcoin, was arrested along with a core member of his company for conspiracy to defraud, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Authorities accused the young businessman of cheating investors by selling mining machines for a cryptocurrency called Filecoin.
At a media briefing on the case on Thursday, Chief Inspector Ho Yui-kuen of the police’s Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) said Wong and a 20-year-old associate were arrested on suspicion that they had duped some people through the sale of crypto mining machines.
During a search in Wong’s office and homes of the two, police seized some cash, documents and computers, the police official said, adding that assets, belonging to Wong’s company and linked to the duo, worth around HK$5 million, were also frozen.
According to Ho, the police received reports since December last year from 16 men and two women who alleged that they were coaxed by a company into buying mining machines for Filecoin.
The 18 people suffered a combined loss of over HK$2.6 million, with one of them losing as much as HK$1.1 million, the biggest amount of all, Ho said.
In early January, the Democratic Party told a press conference that it had received complaints from 21 people who claimed that they had been swindled by Wong and made to buy mining machines.
After investigations, the CCB said that it now suspects Wong has arranged investment seminars and used social media to make exaggerated claims about the gains that could be had through Filecoin, so as to lure investors into buying the mining machines.
The victims alleged that they found out later the cryptocurrency was not yet tradable on the market, according to an RTHK report in January.
The investigation is continuing. Police did not rule out that there could be more victims.
In December last year, Wong grabbed the headlines for allegedly orchestrating a stunt that saw banknotes thrown from a building in Sham Shui Po, sending the bills raining onto a street below and causing a scramble among pedestrians.
Following the incident, Wong had been arrested for causing disorder in a public place but was subsequently released on bail.
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