UK-based crypto lender Nexo’s offices in Sofia were raided by Bulgarian prosecutors on Thursday, according to a local publication Novinite, due to alleged money laundering and tax crimes. The company’s native token saw a massive surge in trade volume after the news, up by 82% over the last 24 hours.
Nexo Investigated Over Possible Money Laundering and Tax Crimes
Bulgarian law authorities raided the offices of crypto lender Nexo in Bulgaria on Thursday as part of an ongoing probe into potential money laundering and tax crimes, according to local news outlet Novinite. Nexo’s native token, NEXO saw an 82% surge in trading volume in the past 24 hours.
According to the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office, more than 300 people, including police officers, prosecutors, and national security agents were involved in the operation. The investigation of the London-based crypto lending firm is currently limited to Bulgaria. Spokesperson Siyka Mileva said authorities raided 15 addresses linked to Nexo.
“Active investigation actions are underway in the capital to neutralize illegal criminal activity of the Nexo crypto bank,” reads a rough translation of the statement.
– says a rough translation of Prosecutor’s Office
According to Novinite, prosecutors suspect that Bulgarians behind Nexo participated in a scheme orchestrated by Ruja Ignatova, one of the top 10 most wanted persons by the FBI. She is also wanted by Europol and Interpol.
Ignatova, also known as the “Queen of Cryptocurrencies,” is best known as the person who co-founded the $4 billion fraudulent crypto scheme OneCoin. The other co-founder of OneCoin, Karl Sebastian Greenwood, pled guilty last month.
Nexo Promised Bulgarian Investors Substantial Returns
Nexo’s Bulgarian operations were based in Sofia, where the company tried to lure depositors and investors into buying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, promising them substantial returns. Interest rates were significantly higher than those offered in traditional banking institutions and brokers, with some reports suggesting that Bulgarians who own Nexo have “appropriated part of the assets amounting to several billion dollars.”
The raid comes just a month after Nexo said it plans to withdraw from the US market, citing low regulatory clarity. In September 2022, eight US states issued cease-and-desist orders against the crypto lender, alleging it was providing interest-earning accounts without registering the investment products as securities.
Antoni Trenchev, a co-founder of Nexo and a former Bulgarian policymaker, said the move represents a “coordinated attack as is evident from the absurd allegations.” He added that the prosecutors are “inquiring about a Bulgarian entity of the group that is not customer-facing but only has OpEx-related functions.”
This article originally appeared on The Tokenist
Sponsored: Tips for Investing
A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.