During the height of the cryptocurrency trading mania, when major exchanges closed their doors to new clients in an effort to cope, it was not uncommon to see people offering big amounts to buy existing accounts. The following case should serve as a warning to anyone considering selling accounts, as you can never know what legal problems may arise.
Chinese Corporate Executive Arrested in Tokyo
The Japanese police revealed on Tuesday that they arrested a Chinese citizen in Tokyo for allegedly selling client accounts, at cryptocurrency exchanges he opened, to a group of criminals. The man is reportedly named Lin Xiaolin, and said to be a 30 years old corporate executive living in the Japanese capital city.
According to reports from China, the executive was arrested on March 15, 2018. He allegedly opened the accounts at a cryptocurrency exchange in Tokyo by accessing its server from his home country under the identity of a Vietnamese individual. The Chinese man has denied these allegations.
The police said that after opening an account, Lin immediately sold it off to a criminal group for approximately 100,000 yen (less than $1,000). He allegedly opened a total of six cryptocurrency exchanges accounts, and at least three of which were later used in some illicit transactions, the Tokyo police believe.
The Vietnamese Connection
The Japanese police suspect that the criminal group deposited cryptocurrency taken from a third party to the accounts they got from Lin, in violation of the law. The investigators also think he might have handed the criminals not just accounts but other “tools” they may use.
The Chinese executive allegedly acquired the personal details of a Vietnamese person from an acquaintance he had in Vietnam. They chatted on Facebook and Lin paid 30,000 yen (less than $300) to get the name, birthday date and more information of another individual. These were used to open an exchange account in early July 2017, according to the police. The investigators first arrested four Vietnamese back in February for allegedly selling this information to Lin, but prosecutors eventually decided against indicting them.