American charged in Sydney over alleged global crypto scam

American charged in Sydney over alleged global crypto scam

The would-be investors claimed to police they were duped into investing in fake bonds, mainly through self-managed super funds, by online operators allegedly posing as trusted financial institutions.

Mr Ayoub was charged with 13 counts of obtaining benefit by deception and 13 counts of reckless deal within the proceeds of crime. He was refused bail and is due to appear at the Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday.

According to his public LinkedIn profile, Mr Ayoub, a US national, was educated in Florida and has worked previously for a company based in Hong Kong.

One alleged victim was contacted on Friday by police following Mr Ayoub’s arrest. The would-be investor says they invested in the faked Nomura high-yield bond after entering details into a comparison site and depositing funds into an account at a major Australian bank.

Representatives of the financial institutions are aware of further police investigations relating to similar allegations by investors.

This type of alleged investment scam was first revealed by The Australian Financial Review after a fake prospectus for an IFM high-yield bond fund was circulated to investors. That was the first of many doctored documents involving well known global institutions to circulate the local market starting earlier this year.

The Financial Review is not suggesting Mr Ayoub’s charges relate to these particular incidents, only that Mr Ayoub has been charged in connection with a similar type of alleged investment scam.

The brands of Citi, Vanguard, PIMCO, UBS, HSBC, Nomura, Schroders and several other firms were reportedly been used in these types of alleged scams to fool retirees into investing their savings and self-managed super into what they believed were high-yielding but safe investments.

Would-be investors affected by such scams allege they were targeted after searching for high-yield investments via search engines such as Google.

That led them to allegedly fake investment comparison websites where they entered contact details.

In time, they were contacted by salesmen with British accents that allegedly used the names of real staff members at the firms they were impersonating.

Victims of these types of scams would then deposit funds into bank accounts controlled by the scammers, including accounts tied to crypto-currency exchanges, where proceeds were allegedly converted to cryptocurrencies and transferred to wallets offshore.

The proliferation of allegations of scammed solicitations led the corporate regulator to issue warnings to investors about operations allegedly targeting investors in Australia and offshore, including in the UK.

This content was originally published here.

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