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Chinese Courts Sentence Crypto Miner, Fraud Rings as Enforcement Continues

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe/Serhii


Crypto mining and investment in most of their forms have been shunted to the margins of society in China, but in some parts of the country, appetite for mining coins remains high, to the extent that some seem prepared to steal electricity from the grid to fuel their efforts.

Per the National Business Daily, the People’s Procuratorate of Fengxian District, Shanghai, has heard the case of an individual surnamed Xu who was found to have stolen some USD 12,200 worth of electricity from the city’s grid to power an elaborate token mining setup.

The procuratorate explained that a power engineer was sent to investigate possible irregularities in the district and eventually came upon a 300 sqm private house that had been rented by Xu. The engineer discovered that the house’s electricity meter had been removed – and that 16 mining rigs had been set up to run directly off the grid in an attempt to avoid all electricity charges.

The engineer contacted the police, who referred the case to the procuratorate.

The media outlet concluded on a cautionary note, remarking that Xu, who was fined an unspecified amount on December 10, and jailed for an undisclosed period, had ultimately “not saved a penny in electricity bills,” and had also acquired a criminal record.

With a dramatic flourish, the National Business Daily remarked that Xu had “bypassed the power grid, but could not escape the law.”

It urged its readers:

“Don’t ignore the law for the sake of small gains. Once you have made a mistake, it will be too late to regret it.”

Similar moral musings were also in no short measure at a mass trial held in Nanchong, Sichuan Province, where the accused – bogus crypto “investment teachers” faced the court clad in handcuffs, facemasks, and protective suits.

The Sichuan News Network (via NewsSC) reported that the People’s Procuratorate of the city’s Jialing District handed 35 defendants (flanked on both sides in the courtroom by as many police officers) “prison terms ranging from 12 years and six months to three years,” as well as fines of up to USD 94,000 for fraud-related offenses.

The court heard that the ring had defrauded investors in Cambodia, principally individuals residing in the cities of Poipet and Phnom Penh, ensnaring over 70 victims with fake investment opportunities.

Faced with “long sentence and heavy fines,” the media outlet noted, “the defendants regretted their actions.”
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