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Cryptogambling / Taiwan’s ACE Exchange founders arrested for $32.1M fraud

Taiwan’s ACE Exchange founders arrested for $32.1M fraud

Publish Date: 05/01/2024
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Founders of Taiwan’s ACE Exchange David Pan and Lin Nan were recently arrested for a $32.1 million crypto fraud.

Backed by 14 employees, they allegedly ran the fraudulent scheme for three years, deceiving over 100 investors. It involved misleading social media advertisements promoting worthless cryptocurrencies, such as MOCT tokens.

The New Taipei City Criminal Police Brigade conducted multiple raids across Taipei, New Taipei and Taichung. The police arrested Pan, Nan and their team at 15 locations, including the ACE’s headquarters.

On X, ACE clarified that the arrested individuals are related to the “token project” and are not its employees. The exchange revealed that Pan had stopped his daily involvement in operations in 2022.

“#ACE Exchange Solemn Statement. Media reports inaccurately stated that our employees were implicated in the case, which is not true,” ACE said.

How ACE scams investors

Per a local news report, Nan used social media to attract potential investors, promising quick profits by listing virtual currencies on established exchanges. Pan and Nan boosted the ACE exchange’s credibility, increasing trust in the listed virtual currencies.

The duo took advantage of information gaps, saying that these virtual currencies had potential value and a bright future, much like Bitcoin’s rise. Yet, investors ended up with coins that were worthless or had no market value, commonly known as “junk coins” or “air coins,” leading to their value dropping significantly.

The crypto fraud case led to $15.7 million in cash discovered at Nan’s home and virtual currency worth $3.48 million from the company’s office. The total seized illegal gains surpassed $6,4 million. The suspects are charged with offenses including fraud according to the Criminal Code, the Money Laundering Prevention Act and the Banking Act.

Regarding the case, ACE revealed that it is cooperating with the police investigation as a witness.

“ACE Exchange continues to commit to legal and regulatory compliance for the exchange. In cases of suspected criminal activity, we will cooperate fully with law enforcement and, as required, delist the disputed currencies. We also hope for fair and strict penalties for illegal actions,” said ACE.

ACE clarified that the recent fraud has not affected its operations and ensures users’ asset safety.

“Whether it’s depositing or withdrawing cryptocurrencies or New Taiwan dollars, all transactions can be processed normally. Should you have any questions or needs, please feel free to contact our official email and community channels. ACE Exchange is dedicated to serving you,” ACE said.

In response to the allegations, ACE declared intentions to remove the MOCT-TWD trading pair on January 8. ACE’s spokesperson said that several token holders had already exchanged their tokens for different coupons.

Last September, ACE revealed that it changed its president. Founded in 2018, ACE is one of Taiwan’s major crypto exchanges, alongside BitoGroup and MaiCoin.

“In September 2023, the new president of ACE Exchange, Wang Chen-Huan, who is also the director of ChienYeh Law Firm, took office. His primary focus has been on legality and compliance, as well as protecting user assets, adhering to the relevant laws and regulations of our country,” ACE said.

ACE also clarified that the company’s ownership has been transferred to the new president, Wang Chen-Huan, who now holds full ownership of the shares.

“The ownership of the company was transferred on December 14, 2023 , to Wang Chen-Huan, who now holds 100% of the shares. This change is currently being registered with the competent authority,” ACE said.

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