US: 2 Estonians arrested in $575M cryptocurrency fraud

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. authorities say police in Estonia have arrested two men accused in a half-billion-dollar cryptocurrency fraud. An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday charged 37-year-old Estonian citizens Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turogin with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Prosecutors say they tricked hundreds of thousands of people into buying contracts for a cryptocurrency mining service called HashFlare and investing in a virtual currency bank called Polybius Bank, which in reality operated as pyramid schemes. The men are accused of using shell companies to launder the $575 million and to purchase real estate and luxury cars. The two are in custody in Estonia pending extradition to the U.S.