The judicial investigation against the alleged cryptocurrency ponzi scheme, Arbistar, will now be known by the National Court of Spain, the second most important court in the country. The process was based in Tenerife, but was transferred to Madrid after the inhibition of a court in Arona.
The bot platform for automated arbitration with cryptocurrencies would have served to commit crimes such as aggravated fraud, criminal organization and continued crime of falsification of commercial documents, according to the newspaper El País.
For the judge of the National Court, José Luis Calama, the Arbistar case would be one of the largest frauds committed in Spain on behalf of investments with cryptocurrencies . The argument is that there would be users affected in 30 of the 50 provinces of the country.
Preliminary estimates indicate that the economic damage could exceed 100 million euros with 32,000 accounts affected. However, according to the judicial authorities, 1,127 affected people have been counted so far, who are the ones who have made the corresponding complaints.
“Without a doubt, such data would place us before the largest pyramid scheme committed, to date, in relation to investment in cryptocurrencies,” said the judge after hearing the case. The investigations again point to the CEO of Arbistar, Santiago Fuentes, and two of his relatives.
The executive is at liberty and would remain in one of his residences located in the south of Tenerife. Fuentes was arrested in October last year by the National Police of Spain , however, he was released on parole by a judge after formally accusing him of fraud, belonging to a criminal organization and money laundering, as reported by CriptoNoticias.
In a previous interview with this newspaper, published on September 20, 2020, Fuentes rejected the accusations that he was behind a fraudulent scheme. «It would be absurd to ride a ponzi in Spain. We are here showing our faces and looking for the best way to give back to our clients part of what we have, “said Fuentes, who is now accused of leading an alleged scam .
Arbistar and the labyrinth of his bots
The alleged problems with the Arbistar platform began in August last year. The company detected an alleged imbalance after a series of profit allocations to users that, according to the company, were higher than corresponding.
The company decided in September to close its community bot , paralyze withdrawals and suspend all reinvestments on the platform , which set off alarms among users. At that time it was reported that the number of people affected would be more than 120,000, however, later the figure rose to 32,000.
Two weeks after what happened, the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) warned that Arbistar was not authorized to offer investment services . In other words, the entity would have operated illegally.