Two Crowd1 promoters in India’s south-west have been arrested.
Authorities in Kerala allege suspects “Joshy” and “Berson” stole over ten million rupees (~$130,000 USD).
They lured the gullible investors by promising that 2.50 Euros would be credited to their accounts every week.
“The duo cleverly campaigned about the returns, without revealing anything concrete about the company’s operations,” said an officer.
“The victims received neither the returns nor the investments. The fund collected was converted into bitcoins worth Rs one crore and transferred into various accounts.”
Crowd1 is a Ponzi scheme run by Swedish national Jonas Werner (right).
The scheme started off by offering gambling related virtual shares, but has since morphed into a mess as one ruse collapsed after another.
The last major ruse to collapse was Crowd1’s Digital Partners Network shares scheme.
DPN shares emerged as an alternative to Crowd1’s original offered “owner’s rights” virtual shares.
Crowd1 incorporated Digital Partners Network as a UK shell company in July 2021. Affiliates were encouraged to invest in virtual shares, on the expectation of passive returns.
A few months later things inevitably went south. Crowd1 affiliates who were suckered in have been left holding the bag.
As the two suspects in India appear aware of, the only way to actually make money in Crowd1 is to recruit others into the scam.
Two other persons accused in the case were suspected to be abroad. More details about the fraud and the bitcoin transactions would be known only after arresting them, said sources.
Although Wener is a Swedish national, he’s since fled to Dubai. There he continues to run the Ponzi scheme, currently targeting investors in Russia, Azerbaijan and South Africa.
The Central Bank of Russia issued a Crowd1 pyramid fraud warning back in January. That same month authorities in Azerbaijan arrested two Crowd1 promoters.
South Africa’s FSCA issued a Crowd1 fraud warning back in June 2020.
To date authorities in Dubai and Sweden have failed to take any action against Crowd1 or Werner.