A Serbian citizen has been extradited to the United States to be charged with defrauding investors in excess of $ 70 million through cryptocurrency mining and binary options scams. Antonije Stojilkovic, 32, and six accomplices, all arrested between July and October 2020, could face up to 20 years in prison if sentenced.
According to a statement of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Stojilkovic was arrested in his home country after the country filed a “preliminary arrest request” on July 24, 2020. The statement adds that his removal “from Serbia to the Northern District of Texas” was completed on February 4, 2021.
In addition to his six conspirators, Stojilkovic has been accused of “targeting investors around the world – including some in North Texas – for ‘investments’ in binary options and cryptocurrency mining.” The DOJ says the defendants, who used their home bases in China and Serbia, orchestrated the scam through “more than 20 fraudulent investment platforms and” made-up profiles. “
Further, as the DOJ statement explains, Stojilkovic and the co-conspirators would “project their binary options platforms as the global market leader in binary options.” The accused also claimed to be “the world market leader” in binary options with “an average payout of 80 percent, and promised a 20 percent refund for every lost trade.”
On the cryptocurrency mining side of the scam, the DOJ says:
Meanwhile, on the cryptocurrency mining platforms, they claimed that investors could buy ‘bitcoin at half the market price’ due to a ’24-7 mining ‘at facilities’ worldwide’.
No trade took place
In an effort to sell the scam to unsuspecting investors, Stojilkovic and his co-defendants have meanwhile “ fabricated trading operations, withdrawal history and bank certificates. ” However, the researchers still found that “no actual trading had taken place”. Instead, investor funds were “used to cover defendants’ personal expenses, to pay commissions and to advance the settlement.”
Meanwhile, US officials say Stojilkovic’s arrest and extradition show law enforcement is capable of “investigating and dismantling these elaborate plans.”
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