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Over 30 People Charged In $24M Crypto Fraud Linked to Taiwan’s ACE Exchange

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 2 min read
ACE Exchange

Taiwan prosecutors charged 32 individuals with fraud and money laundering linked to ACE Exchange, the Taipei Times reported Friday.

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office indicted key figures involved with the exchange. These include founder David Pan, his business partner Lin Keng-hong, and former chairman Wang Chen-huan.

In a staggering fraud, prosecutors estimate over 1,200 people lost a combined total of NT$800m ($24.56m).

Prosecutors allege that starting in 2019, the suspects convinced investors to buy NFTC tokens, bitnature coins, mochange (a token created by ACE Exchange), and other tokens. They are also accused of creating white papers and other materials to make their scheme appear legitimate.

In addition to promoting the tokens, Pan and Lin allegedly promised to turn ACE Exchange into Asia’s leading ecosystem for crypto trading. However, many investors saw their tokens lose significant value.

These investors, finding they were unable to convert their tokens back to Taiwanese dollars as promised, reportedly filed complaints triggering a judicial investigation.

ACE Exchange didn’t return Cryptonews’ request for comment by press time.

Prosecutors Recommend 20-Year Sentences for Core Figures in Crypto Fraud Case

According to authorities, the suspects engaged in a two-pronged scheme to defraud investors. First, they advertised tokens aggressively across various media channels, while manipulating their exchange prices to create an illusion.

Then, after selling these tokens and other blockchain products for a total exceeding NT$2.2b ($72.54m), prosecutors allege the suspects directed others to conceal the money across various locations, including a real estate purchase in Yilan County.

Prosecutors further alleged that Wang, while implicated in the scheme, received around NT$43m ($1.3m). They claim Wang attempted to manipulate the market by putting NT$26m $791k) back into the exchange to inflate token prices.

Given the severity of the fraud and the number of victims, prosecutors recommended at least 20 years imprisonment for the core suspects, including Pan and Lin. For Wang, prosecutors suggested a minimum sentence of 12 years, considering his position as a director at a known law firm and his alleged involvement in facilitating the scam.

Authorities Bust Alleged $10.7M Crypto Fraud at ACE Exchange

Earlier this month, authorities indicted Pan and six others for crypto fraud involving digital assets worth $10.7m.

In this case, investigators revealed that the founder of Ace Exchange established an offshore trading platform that provided a crypto wallet service called “Alfred Wallet.” This service allegedly enticed unsuspecting victims to deposit their funds. However, investors lost access to their funds once they were deposited.

The trading platform claimed that Pan is a former executive who’s involvement in the exchange ended as of 2022.