Over $1.3 million was lost by a Bay Area software developer to a well-known cryptocurrency scam targeting Silicon Valley investors.
A preliminary I-Team investigation concluded that the pig slaughtering fraud targeted Asian-Americans in the Bay Area.
Outcome of the investigation
An investigator has conclusively established that a man named MingGuang Zhang contacted the women through social media. According to the woman, it was Zhang who claimed to be a tech director for a Fortune 500 American company.
During his interview with the victim, she said, “This individual had a really outstanding profile.” The scammer also said she and the suspect attended the same Chinese school. They suddenly switched to WhatsApp after a pleasant exchange. When the victim expressed interest in experimenting with cryptocurrency, Zhang offered to help.
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The victim responded, “I can help you get rich.” The process seemed straightforward. The victim sent a total of $65,000 in three instalments from her bank to Zhang’s trading app. The app showed a 20% profit.
She was advised to open a new account with a different bank by Zhang. She was allegedly told she had 60 days to repay any investment she made with her retirement funds by the suspected con artist. Her IRA was drained, and $900,000 was transferred in late October.
Using Zhang’s platform, she was able to conduct what seemed to be legal transactions. As a result of the site, it appeared that the victim already had money. She discovered, however, that it was a scam the hard way.
In the victim’s words, “Once the money is in there, it vanishes.” However, Zhang persisted, claiming he could assist her in recovering the money. He claimed he would put in $1 million as long as she could send him more money.
The woman, who was in a dire situation, talked to her husband and liquidated $400,000 worth of shares to complete the platform payment.