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UK court arrests woman for laundering 150 Bitcoin in connection with $5.6 billion fraud

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Southwark Crown Court in London, UK, has sentenced a woman to prison for laundering Bitcoin money in connection with a multi-billion pound investment scam. Jian Wen was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison on Friday after being found guilty of money laundering in connection with a £5 billion (6.4 billion USD) fraud scheme.

UK court arrests woman for laundering 150 Bitcoin in connection with $5.6 billion fraud

Woman convicted of laundering 6.4 billion USD in Bitcoin fraud proceeds in London trial

According to reports from Bloomberg, Jian Wen, a former fast-food worker, was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison for laundering significant amounts of bitcoin in connection with a 5.6 billion usd investment scam in China. In the case, Wen was convicted of money laundering related to approximately 150 bitcoin for a Chinese woman between 2017 and 2022. Law enforcement seized over 61,000 bitcoin worth over 4 billion USD.

During sentencing on Friday, Judge Sally-Ann Hales noted that it was a sophisticated and well-planned crime: “I have no doubt that you knew what you were dealing with.”

Despite having dual British and Chinese citizenship, Wen has denied all charges against her and is currently appealing her conviction. She portrayed herself as a victim who was simply following a woman’s instructions and insisted she had no knowledge of the fraudulent origin of the funds. Her lawyers also portrayed Wen Jian as another victim of the mastermind behind the scam, describing the person as a “skilled criminal supervillain” who exploited Wen Jian’s trustworthiness before getting rid of her.

However, prosecutors argued that Wen Jian was motivated by greed and financial gain, claiming she played a crucial role in managing the crypto wallet linked to the money laundering scheme. Prosecutors described Wen Jian as a “front man” used by the fraudster to convert stolen funds into bitcoin, move them out of China, and convert them back into cash.

Wen Jian maintained her innocence, claiming she was simply trying to give her son a better life. She denied three counts of money laundering and claimed she knew nothing of Bitcoin’s criminal origins. Despite her claims, a jury found her guilty on one count in March, while two other counts were not decided.

In March, jurors found Wen guilty of one count of money laundering after a nearly two-month trial that included thousands of pieces of evidence, including WhatsApp messages between Wen and the alleged mastermind.

Wen Jian sentenced to six years and eight months for money laundering in high-profile fraud case

Wen, 42, underwent a dramatic lifestyle change, going from living in the basement of a Chinese takeaway in east London to a six-bedroom mansion in a leafy suburb and indulging in luxury shopping sprees at Harrods after she began working for the now-arrested fugitive.

Judge Hales noted, “I have no doubt that you have come to enjoy the better things in life.” In a separate statement, Wen’s lawyer denied the fraud allegations against her and asserted that she acquired significant Bitcoin holdings legally.

Judge Sally-Ann Hales stressed that while there was no evidence of Wen Jian’s involvement in the underlying fraud, she was aware that she was dealing with criminal proceeds. She sentenced Wen Jian to six years and eight months in prison for one count of money laundering.

Recently, the EU adopted a new Anti-Money Laundering Regulation (AMLR) that aims to regulate crypto-asset service providers (CASPs). This regulation empowers Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) to detect and combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The legislative package announced on Wednesday will impact crypto exchanges and brokers operating under the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA). These laws introduce “enhanced due diligence obligations” that require obliged entities such as crypto-asset managers to report suspicious activity to FIUs.

In addition, a new regulator, AMLA, will oversee implementation. This comprehensive AML/CFT framework applies to all financial institutions, including CASPs, and is not specific to cryptocurrencies.


All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.