Australian police failed to act on HyperVerse scam for two years

The HyperVerse crypto Ponzi scheme that cost investors $1.7 billion was reportedly passed between Australian regulators and police for two years before any action was taken, according to The Guardian.

It was reported this week that HyperVerse, which promised lucrative returns but relied on funds taken from investors, was first referred by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to the country’s Victoria police in 2020 for “possible fraud offences.”

However, it wasn’t until two years later in January 2022, that Victoria Police referred it back to ASIC. A police spokesperson told the Guardian it took until 2021 to assess the case and that it was eventually decided that ASIC was “best placed to look at it further.”

HyperVerse police verdict took “some time”

When asked why it took so long to process the case, police said it needed to be assessed if any crime had been committed and if the police should handle it. “Depending on circumstances, this can take some time,” the spokesperson said.

An ASIC spokesperson, however, told The Guadian it “understood that the matter was under active consideration by VicPol. VicPol is ultimately best placed to explain their decision to refer the matter back to ASIC.” 

Read more: Crypto pyramid schemes thought to have stolen billions go unchecked

The operation was known as HyperCapital when the first referral was made but in 2020, it rebranded to HyperFund, eventually becoming HyperVerse in December 2021.

Global Blockchain, another affiliate scam run by HyperVerse founders Sam Lee and Ryan Xu, collapsed in this same period while owing investors AUS$58 million ($37.7 million). ASIC was previously criticized in December 2023 for failing to publish any warnings relating to HyperVerse.

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