The CEO of Arbistar of Spanish investment company Santiago Fuentes has been arrested and arraigned on suspicion of fraud, criminal organization and money laundering. Fuentes has been in hiding since September, and he was arrested in a property in southern Tenerife.
Arbistar Pyramid Project
Fuentes’ arrest stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Arbistar customers who claimed that they committed pyramid fraud after the Bitcoin trading company suddenly frozen their accounts, affecting 32,000 families.
At the hearing, Arona (Tenerife) No. 3 Investigative Court described Fuentes’ Arbistar operation as a “potential pyramid project”. The court “released the CEO without bail for the time being” but ordered the withdrawal of his passport. In addition, Fuentes must report to the Arona Court every 15 days.
At the same time, despite the widespread speculation in the Spanish media that there is a lack of $1 billion, Javier García Ramila warned: “At present, it is too early to estimate the amount of fraud that may exist because of the signing of the products provided. The exact number of customers is not yet known.”
The Spanish court clarified that it was only based on “police stations and civilian police barracks in Tenerife, La Palma, Malaga, Huelava, Huelva, Granada, Mallorca and Lugo” Only 21 complaints were directed against the Fuentes case. The total value of missing funds in the 21 reported cases was approximately US$367,000.
At the same time, the court document described the operation of the Fontes organization:
Arbistar provides its clients with computer tools (“bots”) that can automatically execute buy and sell orders in the cryptocurrency brokerage market, thereby ensuring that they increase the revaluation of their savings by 8% to 15%.
However, the document says that the Bitcoin Investment Company’s offer is on a condition that “customers will not be able to cash out their money within a reasonable grace period of two months”.
Therefore, based on their findings, the investigator said: “It is possible to prove that the above product is indeed a pyramid scam.” The investigator added, “It is not about executing investments in various virtual markets and rewarding old customers who gain profits. “Arbistar seems to be funding the profit payment through deposits brought by new customers.
Discover possible money laundering activities
The investigators also said that they discovered possible money laundering activities involving Venus Capital Trade SL, a shell company that reportedly received $1.32 million from Arbistar.
At the same time, Judge Lamira, who refused to impose more punitive restrictions on Fuentes, said that he now “needs to review countless documents and electronic devices and cooperate with banks to track misappropriated client funds.” However, the judge said he Willing to take “more onerous measures” against Fuentes.
If convicted, Fuentes will face up to 16 years in prison.
What are Fuentes’ thoughts on obtaining temporary freedom without bail? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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