Mining service provider faces $100M lawsuit over pyramid scheme allegations in China

Five executives from a Filecoin mining service are facing a lawsuit at the People’s Court of Pingan County in China over allegations that they pocketed millions of dollars and left investors in ruin. 

On Aug. 14, local media reported that the court held a public hearing on a case that could potentially set a precedent in China for how crypto schemes are prosecuted and regulated. The lawsuit accuses Shenzhen Space-Time Cloud Technology executives of setting up a pyramid scheme that amassed around $100 million and scammed their investors.

According to the report, defendants Lai Mouhang and Lai Moujun created the company in 2018. They hired other executives in the following years and expanded the company’s operations to promote investment opportunities connected with Filecoin’s rewards system and business model.

Prosecutors alleged that the defendants provided exaggerated profit predictions to attract participants into investing in their joint Filecoin mining endeavor. The lawsuit alleges the defendants sold storage servers and promised great returns in a pyramid structure.

The prosecutors claim the company got $100 million from more than 57,000 users. According to the prosecutors, the executives disrupted economic order by using deception to defraud participants.

Related: US and China AI-tech standoff shows signs of spreading to other countries

Meanwhile, Chinese police have been facilitating a crackdown on crypto and deepfake artificial intelligence. On Aug. 10, Chinese authorities reported that there had been 79 cases of fraud involving deepfake AI, with 515 individuals arrested. At the same time, the authorities arrested 21 people who were suspected of being involved in a $54 million Tether (USDT) money laundering scheme.

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