The Jakarta Metro Police have arrested US national Russ Albert Medlin, considered to be the unofficial owner of the large cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme BitClub Network. The police acted after receiving a tip that Medlin has been involved in a child prostitution ring.
BitClub Network Owner Arrested In Indonesia
The Jakarta Metro Police’s Cyber Crimes Directorate captured Medlin in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, on Sunday, a report informed. On the day of the arrest, police officers intercepted and questioned three women leaving Medlin’s residence, and two of them were underage.
The girls confessed to involvement in a child prostitution ring and asserted that Medlin had been one of the regular clients.
The Jakarta Metro Police have charged Medlin with sexual assault on minors, which could send him to prison for up to 15 years. However, Medlin has been involved and implicated in several other illegal activities, including previous child abuse.
The report notes that Interpol has flagged him as a child molester who had been convicted for such crime twice – in 2006 and 2008. After the second one, he served two years in prison for the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl and possession of child pornography.
Medlin also has alleged involvement in one of the largest cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes – BitClub Network (BCN).
BitClub, Scam, Medlin, And FBI
BCN presented itself as a legit Bitcoin mining operation that asked users to invest money and, in return, to receive a share of the revenues generated by the BCN mining pool. Members were also able to generate revenue by referring or sponsoring new users to join the network.
What made BCN particularly deceitful and tempting was the fact that the mining pool indeed existed from 2014 to late 2019. However, participating members were not paid from the mining operations block rewards. Instead, they received minimal payouts. Members wanting to get their earned funds had to pay a high fee.
While the company claimed that “BitClub is not owned by any single person or entity, we are a team of experts, entrepreneurs, professionals, network marketers, and programming geeks,” numerous reports linked Medlin as the person behind the whole project. According to this research, he even stated in a YouTube video that “everyone is in my downline.”
Aside from Medlin, the FBI accused Matthew Brent Goettsche, Jobadiah Sinclair Weeks, Joseph Frank Abel, and Silviu Catalin Balaci of involvement in the scheme. According to a press release from December 2019, the US Department of Justice charged Goettsche, Balaci, and Weeks “with conspiracy to engage in wire fraud in connection with their roles in BitClub Network.”
The three of them and Abel were also charged with conspiracy to sell unregistered securities, namely the BCN shares.
With Medlin getting apprehended in Indonesia is worth noting that there’s no official extradition treaty between the country and the US. As such, it remains to be seen how and if the US can strike a deal to make Medlin answer for his alleged massive financial scam in his home country.
CryptoPotato was unable to independently confirm if Medlin was wanted by the FBI.