In brief

  • Five individuals have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud relating to Bitcoin.
  • The defendants are accused of perpetrating a $27 million fraud through using a loophole in Australian firm Coinspot.

Five individuals have been charged for involvement in an alleged Bitcoin conspiracy involving up to £20 million ($27 million), per The Lancashire Telegraph. The charges follow an investigation by Lancashire Police.

The conspiracy reportedly lasted for almost two years, and involved the five individuals using a loophole in a company called Coinspot, operated by Australian firm Casey Block Services. Prosecutor Malcolm Isherwood reportedly told the court: “This has been a long-running investigation involving a vast amount of money—millions of pounds.”

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James Austin-Beddoes, 26, stands accused of conspiracy to commit fraud relating to Bitcoin, and an allegation of possessing criminal property—the proceeds of the alleged crime itself.

Stephen Boys, 57, a financial advisor, is charged with conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the Bitcoin sales. Alongside him is Kelly Caton, 43, who is charged with conspiracy to defraud using a digital trading platform to gain Australian dollars. She is also accused of possessing the proceeds from the Bitcoin s

Another member of the five is Hanza Moosa Kambi, 33, who is currently in Dubai. As the English justice system will not allow a video link to be established from a defendant based in a foreign country, Kambi is due to return to the UK on April 6, and will link with Blackpool Magistrates Court upon his return.

Finally, Jordan Robinson, 22, also faces a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud and a charge of possessing the illegal proceeds of crime. A sixth member, James Parker, would have been charged, but he died aged 52 during the investigation conducted by Lancashire Police.

According to the Lancashire Telegraph, none of the defendants entered any pleas, and will appear at Preston Crown Court on April 14.

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