Four men have reportedly been arrested in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture for running an allegedly fraudulent crypto investment scheme that persuaded investors they could reap returns on the basis of an artificial intelligence (AI)-led trading system.
Roughly 20,000 Japanese investors nationwide are thought to have been drawn into the scheme, which raised an estimated total of 6 billion yen ($55 million). The four suspects: Shoji Ishida, Yukihiro Yamashita, Takuya Hashiyada, and Masamichi Toshima, were arrested on July 12, according to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
The alleged scam, dubbed the “Oz Project” promised that the automated, AI-based system would result in investors receiving 100% of their initial investment back, with assured profits of two-and-a-half times its original value over the course of four months. Several of the scheme’s investors have filed civil lawsuits in Nagoya and Tokyo seeking damages, Asahi reported.
To solicit investors, the Oz Project had a dedicated team member who held seminars and briefings for participants and encouraged participants to create and