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HomeSecurityNorth London Resident, Jian Wen, Found Guilty of £2 Billion Money Laundering...

North London Resident, Jian Wen, Found Guilty of £2 Billion Money Laundering Case Involving Bitcoin

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In a landmark case, Jian Wen, a former takeaway worker residing in north London, was found guilty of one count of money laundering after being caught with Bitcoin worth over $2.5 billion (£2 billion) in 2018. Wen was involved in converting the Bitcoin funds into assets such as multi-million-pound houses and jewelry for Zhang Yadi, whose real name is Qian Zhimin, a Chinese fugitive.

The investigation, led by British police, uncovered a money laundering scheme involving over 61,000 BTC, one of the largest cryptocurrency seizures globally. The initial estimates valued the Bitcoin funds at around £2 billion, but due to price fluctuations, it has since increased to approximately £3.4 billion.

Wen’s defense portrayed her as a victim deceived by Zhang, emphasizing her intent to provide a better life for her son. However, the prosecution argued that Wen should have been aware of the illegal source of the funds, given Zhang’s criminal activities and efforts to evade Chinese authorities. Despite this, jurors found her guilty of one count of money laundering.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has obtained a freezing order from the High Court as part of a civil recovery investigation that could lead to the forfeiture of the Bitcoin.

The investigation revealed that Zhang Yadi is believed to be the mastermind behind the fraud, targeting thousands of Chinese investors through fraudulent wealth schemes. Zhang entered Britain in 2017 with a fake passport amid Chinese authorities’ probe into the fraud. He sought to convert the stolen funds, initially turned into Bitcoin for their transfer out of China, and used Wen as a “front person.”

Andrew Penhale, the chief crown prosecutor at the CPS, noted organized criminals’ increasing use of cryptocurrencies to disguise and transfer assets. He stated that this case illustrates the significant proceeds available to such fraudsters. Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Prins, who led the investigation, emphasized the international nature of the operation, highlighting how criminals exploit cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes.

Wen is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10 while the hunt for Zhang continues as he remains at large. This case serves as a warning to those involved in money laundering and the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes.

Source: CryptoPotato

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