A British citizen recently went on trial in the U.K. for laundering bitcoins on behalf of a fugitive Chinese fraudster, Yadi Zhang. Prosecutors insist that Jian Wen was aware that Zhang’s bitcoins were acquired using stolen funds. However, Wen defended her actions and said she thought Zhang had accumulated her wealth through her jewelry business, property portfolio, and bitcoin mining operation.
Zhang’s Wealth Management Business
A British-Chinese woman, Jian Wen, is on trial in the U.K. for allegedly laundering bitcoins that were sourced with $6.3 billion stolen from more than 128,000 investors in China. According to prosecutors, Wen is facing three charges of laundering money on behalf of the Chinese national Yadi Zhang.
Zhang, a fugitive from justice, is said to have perpetrated the grand fraud via her bogus wealth management business between 2014 and 2017. Afterwards, she reportedly converted some of the stolen money to bitcoin (BTC) before leaving for London under a false identity.
Upon arriving in the U.K., Zhang sought the services of Wen to convert her BTC into cash, jewellery, and other luxury items. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) alleges that Zhang’s ultimate objective was “to disguise the true source of the funds.”
During the trial, Gillian Jones, who represented the CPS, stated that while Wen was not involved in the fraud, she may have known that Zhang’s bitcoins were proceeds from criminal activity. Jones urged the jury to ask Wen if she was aware of Zhang’s criminal activities.
The lawyer argued that Wen, a naturalized British citizen, knowingly acted as a front for Zhang and was probably paid for it. However, Wen defended her actions and said she thought Zhang had accumulated her wealth through her jewellery business, property portfolio, and bitcoin mining operation.
The trial is expected to run until early March, according to the report.
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