Bitcoin Proceeds of COVID-19 Business Support Scheme Fraud Seized
The $150,000 worth of Bitcoin was allegedly being used to launder money gained through fraudulent support loan applications on behalf of dummy businesses.
A U.K. woman has been arrested in possession of Â£115,000 ($150,000) of Bitcoin (BTC), according to a Metropolitan Police report. The cryptocurrency is alleged to be the proceeds of a fraudulent scheme applying for government loans designed to assist small businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 35-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of fraud, money laundering and child neglect, following the search of a residential address in Ipswich, United Kingdom on Aug 12. Officers successfully applied for the detention of the Bitcoin held in the suspectâ€™s cryptocurrency wallet on Aug 13.
The investigation leading to the arrest had uncovered a series of mule bank accounts found to have received the proceeds of several fraudulent applications for â€œBounce Back Loans.” This scheme was launched by the U.K. government to assist small businesses affected by the pandemic.
This money was then used to buy Bitcoin worth $150,000, which was being held in the suspect’s wallet.
Detective Sergeant Ian Barret of the Metâ€™s Proactive Money Laundering Team denounced such behavior, saying:
â€œFor people to take advantage of Government support available to those who really need it in these unprecedented times is appalling.â€�
And it isnâ€™t just the government which is being targeted by criminals during the pandemic. As Cointelegraph reported, U.K. authorities have warned citizens to avoid scammers using the crisis to hoax citizens.
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