Four alleged masterminds of the “Oz Project” have been arrested after duping investors across Japan for at least four years. According to investigators, the scheme raked in $55 million from about 20,000 investors, promising 2.5 times returns in four months.
Police in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, said Monday that four men have been arrested for defrauding investors in a cryptocurrency investment scheme called the “Oz Project.”
The police said the group had amassed at least 6 billion yen (approximately $55 million). According to local media, the number of victims is between 10,000 and 20,000.
According to investigators, the four men arrested were Shoji Ishida (59), Yukihiro Yamashita (61), Takuya Hashiyada (46), and Masamichi Toshima (52). Ishida is allegedly the operator of the Oz Project.
They allegedly lured investors by promising them that their crypto investments would increase 2.5 times in four months.
Investigators suspected that the group began duping people four years ago, holding seminars across Japan. The group allegedly told investors that their funds would be invested in cryptocurrency using an automated AI trading system, which in fact did not exist.