Taiwan Seeks 20-Year Sentences for Ace Exchange Fraud Suspects

Key Points:

  • Over 1,200 investors lost an estimated 800 million NT$ due to fraudulent activities on Ace Exchange.
  • The founder of Ace Exchange and three others face severe penalties for their roles in the crypto fraud.
  • Authorities have seized assets worth 3.5 million NT$ from the accused to compensate for investor losses.
Taiwan Seeks 20-Year Sentences for Ace Exchange Fraud Suspects
Taiwan Seeks 20-Year Sentences for Ace Exchange Fraud Suspects

Prosecutors in Taiwan are taking a firm stance against four individuals at the heart of the Ace Exchange cryptocurrency scandal, recommending two decades behind bars for each. According to a local news report, the suspects, including founder David Pan and his associate Lin Keng-hong, face charges of fraud and money laundering. Notably, Wang Chen-Huan, a high-profile attorney and chairman of the exchange is among those indicted. 

Significantly, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office has formally charged 32 individuals in connection with the scheme, which they believe duped over 1,200 victims. This fraud has led to an immense financial loss totaling approximately 800 million New Taiwan dollars. Initially, losses were estimated at a lower figure of 340 million NT$. However, recent investigations have uncovered additional damages.

Moreover, the prosecutors have suggested a minimum of 12 years imprisonment for Wang, reflecting his influential legal position and alleged involvement in the criminal activities. Earlier in January, the police detained Pan and several associates, conducting raids across multiple locations, including the headquarters of Ace Exchange. These actions revealed Pan’s connections to a fraudulent crypto wallet service known as “Alfred” or “Afu wallet” and a related crypto card.

Escalations in Follow Up Investigations For Ace Exchange

Additionally, investigations have shown that the suspects marketed various cryptocurrencies, such as NFTC tokens and change, through white papers and promotional events, falsely elevating their legitimacy. Their ambitious plan was to establish Ace Exchange as a leading blockchain ecosystem in Asia. Unfortunately, many investors saw the value of their tokens plummet, with no feasible way to convert them back to fiat currency, prompting legal action.

In light of the legal proceedings, Ace Exchange stated on April 8, distancing itself from Pan, clarifying that he had not been involved in day-to-day operations since 2022. Despite these assertions, the fallout has continued to unravel, with a Taiwanese court ruling that properties linked to the defendants should be confiscated. Currently, seized assets total at least 3.5 million NT$.

The platform, launched in late 2018, is relatively unknown globally, facilitating daily trades worth around $14 million. Market analysts from Traders Union have tagged Ace Exchange as a “high-risk” venue, assigning it a trust score of just 2.78 out of 10.

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