Dozens prosecuted in Pudong in online fraud case

Tian Shengjie
The victims were said to have lost over 17 million yuan in less than five months to the swindlers, who used livestreaming to lure illegal investment.
Tian Shengjie

Over 50 people were prosecuted in Pudong New Area recently for committing fraud via an online investment platform after nearly 100 victims contacted the police, authorities said on Tuesday.

The victims were said to have lost over 17 million yuan (US$2.58 million) in less than five months to the swindlers. More than 200 phones and computers have been seized, the area's procuratorate said.

At the beginning of this year, a man surnamed Peng rented an online futures investment platform, with a server in Australia. To get people to invest in futures on the platform, more than 30 agents showed fake accounts and data to the victims and told them that large numbers of people had already earned money following instructions from guest speakers.

They also wooed customers via livestreaming. At first, speakers shared knowledge about investing. Several days later, they started to introduce the investment platform to audiences. To create a false impression of popularity, livestreaming administrators would delete critical comments, inflate viewership levels and provide bogus tips to streamers.

The wife of one such speaker was prosecuted over covering up or concealing criminal proceeds. She gave her bank account to her husband to transfer 1.5 million yuan after noticing that the over 3 million yuan per month he earned might be illegal, prosecutors said.

Further investigation is underway, the procuratorate said.

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