Dutch student allegedly stole up to €10M running crypto bank

Dutch legal teams are hunting a 23-year-old law student and self-styled crypto banker who has vanished after allegedly stealing up to €10 million in a suspected pyramid scheme.

As reported by rtv Oost, for two years a 23-year-old from Hengelo, Netherlands, was reportedly running a crypto bank while accepting investments from his family, close associates, and strangers across town. 

He reportedly accepted a minimum fee of €5,000 for his crypto-investing while taking 50% of the profits as payment for his service. His work is said to have earned the local title of ‘crypto genius.’

On Wednesday, an email was reportedly sent to his estimated 300 investors claiming that, with regret, he can no longer pay them back as he has lost all the invested funds, including his own money.

Dutch lawyers say amounts ranging from €35,000 to €50,000 in crypto have been taken from individuals. One victim said, “We suspect that it could be a rough estimate of an amount between 4.5 and perhaps 10 million euros that is now missing.” 

Read more: Charity worker says bitcoin scam forced him to steal $150K from veterans

According to lawyers representing victims, the law student paid initial investors with money taken from newer customers in an apparent crypto pyramid scheme. Lawyer Arjon Tieman, said it has “all the hallmarks,” while noting the current information is very fresh.

A spokesperson also apologized on behalf of the Dutch ‘crypto genius,’ saying in the email that he was “completely mentally unstable” and is receiving treatment after seeking medical help. It’s reported his Facebook and Instagram accounts have been deleted, his scheduled trip to Turkey with his football club canceled, and his house empty.  

Victims have approached the police, but a report is yet to be filed. Legal teams representing victims are currently working to make a claim.

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