a Youtuber stole 4 million euros from his subscribers

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

Under cover of advice, the Youtube channel “Crypto Gouv” 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, the videos which tell the scam flourish. “Crypto Gouv”, a channel on which Internet users obtain advice on investing in cryptocurrencies, is said to be the source of a theft of funds from its community. The damage would be 4 million euros according to a source familiar with the matter.

In a few months, the youtuber whose identity is unknown, has 4,000 subscribers with whom he exchanged daily on Telegram or Discord. Over the advice provided, trust is established between Crypto Gouv and its aspiring investors. He suggests that they meet in “pools”, groups to invest together and asks them to entrust their funds to him. The promised returns on investment are significant. In a very short time, the scam is tied up. “Investors have placed a hundred euros, others several tens of thousands of euros“, delegated the lawyer of suspects, Master 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 the funds. “It is as if you considered a sum to a financial investment adviser and that this one simply left with your money“, explains Me Asta-Vola. In what seems to be a latest tutorial published on Youtube, which is now untraceable, he goes into detail about the underside of this scam. According to France Inter, the investigation opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office in mid-July was entrusted to the gendarmes of the research section. About forty people have filed complaints, but up to 300 people could be supported.

The scammer faces up to five years in prison, as he himself recalls in his latest video. With a market that keeps more and more public, we must watch out for cryptocurrency scams that are multiplying. “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 has been set up to help victims and the lawyer announced the creation of an association to “inform and help victims” of fraud in their efforts.

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