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The United States has seized digital currency worth about half a million dollars from an account registered to a Chinese man who featured in a Reuters investigation into crypto-investment fraud run from Southeast Asia.

U.S. authorities said the scam that prompted the seizure involved a crypto-investment fraud known as pig butchering. In such schemes, fraudsters manipulate unsuspecting people they meet online, persuading them to invest in bogus crypto schemes.

The U.S. Secret Service seized the crypto from an account in the name of Wang Yicheng in June, according to a document filed by U.S. authorities in federal court in Massachusetts. The crypto was worth about $500,000 at the time. Money initially stolen from a Massachusetts victim was traced to Wang’s account, the Nov. 21 filing said.

Reuters, in an article published last month, identified Wang as a businessman who forged relationships with members of Thailand’s law-enforcement and political elite while serving as the vice president of a Bangkok-based Chinese trade group. The Nov. 23 article detailed how a crypto account in Wang’s name received more than $90 million in recent years, based on documents and transaction logs. Of that, at least $9.1 million came from a crypto wallet that U.S. blockchain analysis firm TRM Labs said was linked to pig-butchering scams, Reuters reported.

The report highlighted the example of a California man whose family said he was scammed out of about $2.7 million. He sent money to crypto wallets that channeled funds into the account in Wang’s name, the reporting showed. The recent U.S. court filing cited another example, a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was allegedly cheated of about $478,000 worth of crypto, which was diverted into two crypto accounts, one of which was in Wang’s name.

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