a Youtuber stole 4 million euros from its members

About 40 people have filed complaints for a cryptocurrency scam. BENOIT TESSERIER / REUTERS

Under the cover of the councils, the “Crypto Gouv” Youtube channel allegedly scammed between 200 and 300 people. The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation.

The Good Samaritan who gave advice on investing in cryptocurrency was a scammer. On Youtube, for three weeks, videos that tell the scam flourish. “Crypto Gouv”, a channel on which Internet users have come to seek advice on investing in cryptocurrencies, is said to have led to a theft of funds from his community. The damage would be € 4 million according to a source familiar with the matter.

In a few months, the youtuber whose identity is unknown, gathered 4,000 subscribers with whom he exchanged daily on Telegram or Discord. In addition to the advice given, trust is established between Crypto Gouv and its would-be investors. He offers them to meet in “pools”, groups to invest together and asks them to entrust him with their funds. The promised returns on the investment are significant. In a very short time the scam is blocked. “Investors placed one hundred euros, others several tens of thousands of euros“, has entrusted the actors’ lawyer, Maître Jérémy Asta-Vola to France Inter.

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A video reveals the scam

Not without cynicism, Crypto Gouv announced on July 9 on its usual chat channels that it was disappearing with funds. “It is as if you have entrusted a sum to a financial investment advisor and he has simply walked away with your money.“, Asta-Vola explains to me. In what appeared to be a last tutorial posted on Youtube, now unavailable, he details the underside of this scam. According to France Inter, the investigation opened by the Paris prosecutor in mid-July was entrusted to the gendarmes of the research section. About 40 people have filed complaints, but up to 300 people are said to have been affected.

The scammer faces up to five years in prison, as he himself recalls in his latest video. With a market that is attracting more and more people, you need to beware of cryptocurrency scams that are on the rise. “There is a mass audience that is interested in these practices. Inevitably, some malicious people see it as an opportunity“, Warns Jérémy Asta-Vola. A Discord server was set up to help victims, and the lawyer announced the creation of an association to “inform and help victims” of fraud in their endeavors.

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