Arbistar’s case victims’ defense lawyer claims the overall number of those affected amounts to 32,000 families with at least 93.4 million euros ($ 113.55 million) in losses.
Arbistar Case Lawyer Reveals Details of Class Actions Laws Against Alleged Crypto Ponzi Scheme
During an interview with Eldiario, Carlos Aránguez, a Spanish lawyer representing 130 victims, pointed out that the scale of the disaster triggered by Ponzi Arbistar’s alleged crypto scheme may qualify as the “biggest computer scam” in Spain.
Victims represented by the lawyer are located in Mexico, Venezuela, France, Andorra, and nearly 20 Spanish provinces, who claimed to have invested in the plots of Arbicorp – the company that owns Arbistar – and which promised a yield of around 28%, but suddenly the company announced a freeze of accounts belonging to over 120,000 investors on September 12, 2020, due to an alleged “failure” in one of its cryptocurrency trading bots.
According to Aránguez, Arbistar’s business model was in fact based on a pyramid scheme, as almost all of his clients were attracted by the Spanish company’s offer thanks to the recommendations of friends who claimed to have made a return on their investments:
The company was based on a recruitment system of ‘bring me friends, acquaintances and family and I will reward you.’ That’s the pyramid scheme that has worked. It’s a Ponzi scheme like the one Baldomera Larra made in her time, the first woman from Spain to commit a pyramid scam, though Carlo Ponzi is known to everyone.
The lawyer told Eldiario that there are four ongoing lawsuits against Arbicorp and its CEO and founder, Santiago Fuentes. In line with what the victims demand, Aránguez said they have filed a complaint for a fraud offense aggravated by the offense of laundering against public funds and by a criminal organization. He also added:
The plot is still under investigation, it is very initial, and there are parts that are unknown. Our main interest is in recovering the savings that have been so unfairly robbed from our customers. The case is now in Arona Court of Instruction no 3, but due to its size and complexity, it must go to the National Court.
Although the lawyer has stated that tracking bitcoins allegedly stolen by Arbicorp is “not an easy task,” they have provided the authorities in charge of the investigation with ample educational tests.
Alleged Ponzi Scheme Mastermind Still Tries
He also asked for preventive detention for Fuentes, who is currently on probation, after being arrested and first arrested on fraud charges, belonging to a criminal organization, and money laundering. Fuentes, who has been hiding since September, was arrested at one of his properties in south Tenerife on October 22, 2020.
However, Fuentes must appear on the 1st and 15th of each month before Arona Court of Instruction No. 3. A ban on leaving Spain was also imposed.
Aránguez said he had contacted Fuentes law firm through Burofax – a service used in Spain for the emergency shipment of documents, serving as evidence against third parties – and by call, but had not yet received any response at press time.
The Spanish Prosecution office, which first launched an investigation against Arbistar for running a bitcoin trading scam, said on October 7, 2020, that preliminary findings suggest that $ 1 billion in investor funds cannot be accounted for.
What do you think of this case of alleged massive Ponzi crypto scheme in Spain? Let us know in the comments section below.
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