back to article 'I think the police are here...' Feds reveal Skype, text chats of Canadian trio charged with $8m crypto-coin fraud

Two Canadian lovers and their housemate have been charged with fraud after allegedly netting $8m by selling a made-up cryptocurrency called PlexCoin to victims. Dominic Lacroix, 38, and Sabrina Paradis-Royer, 26, are already on the hook for $7m following an investigation by America's financial watchdog, the SEC, into PlexCoin …

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    WTF?

    OMFG

    The legendary wire fraud charge actually being used for its original purpose?

    Hundreds of suspects for non-wire fraud (but charged with it anyway) will be shocked and stunned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Gordon 10 - Re: OMFG

      Relax, it's only a couple of amateurs who managed to commit a modest fraud. Nothing to worry about.

  2. elDog

    Sounds like these scoundrels could make many $$$ by selling the movie rights

    We (the public) seem to be enamored of how con artists can rip off us (the public.)

    I was going to go all political and talk about trump and johnson here, but I've been down-voted too many times for that.

  3. redpawn Silver badge

    Thankfully people still Believe

    that bits and bytes are real money if stored in the right server. Enough people and other servers believe the bits in my credit union are good enough to cancel out my debts from time to time.

    You need more believers for faith to work its magic and a priest with at least some knowledge of arcane arts to generate "real" money of the likes of Bitcoin.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    You couldn't make it up. What's that? They did?

  5. Reginald Onway
    Big Brother

    Skype sniping

    I am glad the evil doers were caught. However, this case demonstrates why MS bought Skype: To make sure there was a back door for police and whomsoever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Skype sniping

      Why do you think there was or is a backdoor? Maybe the police just seized all their devices and read the messages?

      Occam's razor maybe?

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Skype sniping

      Why should Ms care about that?

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Skype sniping

      Reginald Onway,

      Are you saying that the phone systems in almost every country were only designed as a backdoor - so governments could wiretap criminals?

      I mean, most were owned by governments, so there was definitely wire-tapping going on. But it still goes on, now that many are private companies too. That's not the reason the phone systems exist, nor is it the reason that people use them.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is it that a court in Ohio has jurisdiction over people living in Quebec?

    Surely these people are Canadian citizens committing crimes under Canadian law while living in Canada?

    US law should not apply to them any more than Chinese law, or North Korean law or Pakistani law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >How is it that a court in Ohio has jurisdiction over people living in Quebec?

      Well they do over UK citizens. Due to the lovely one-sided extradition treaty with the US.

      Sovereignty !!!!

    2. Insert sadsack pun here

      This is explained in the complaint to which the article linked.

      The federal courts in Ohio have jurisdiction because they promoted their dodgy bitcoin to residents of Ohio, used the wires and mails of Ohio, and fleeced an Ohio resident. The Canadian courts would also have jurisdiction to prosecute those and other offences.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's a slippery slope.

        Under that logic, the courts in Islamabad would be able to prosecute Americans living in America who post videos on TikTok which are deemed offensive and illegal under Pakistani law. (As recently discussed).

        You would end up the unworkable situation where everybody on the internet is governed by the superset of every country's laws. Nobody would be able to do anything on the internet, just in case it was illegal in some other country they've never been to.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Under that logic, the courts in Islamabad would be able to prosecute Americans living in America who post videos on TikTok which are deemed offensive and illegal under Pakistani law.

          They can try. Won't get them very far in trying to get an extradition warrant though.

          But also, you don't understand extradition law. Extradition is an agreement between governments. So it only applies to those offenses that that the two governments agree on. This normally means that an extradittion treaty only applies to those laws that are on the statute books of both countries.

          That was the get-out that Julian Assange tried. He tried to say that the Swedish legal system calls things rape that others don't - and therefore the charges against him didn't fall within the extradition agreement. But lost, because the UK High Court ruled that the charges would also have been rape in the UK.

          There's a further standard get-out, which is that some countries will not extradite for "political crimes". Things like treason, espionage and the like. And therefore that will be written into their extradition treaties.

          So as what they are alleged to have done is illegal under Canadia law - extradition should be no problem, unless the Canadians want to try them first.

        2. Insert sadsack pun here

          "Under that logic, the courts in Islamabad would be able to prosecute Americans living in America who post videos on TikTok which are deemed offensive and illegal under Pakistani law"

          Not quite. If Pakistan law were the same as American here, Pakistani courts could prosecute American residents who sent copies of those naughty videos to people in Pakistan, used servers in Pakistan to distribute those videos, or sold copies of those videos to Pakistan residents.

          Having said that, you've identified a big problem with English libel laws where if a Pakistani website calls a Pakistani politician a crook, the website can be sued in England if even just a single English resident read the defamatory article and in reality it has sod all to do with England.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "Having said that, you've identified a big problem with English libel laws where if a Pakistani website calls a Pakistani politician a crook, the website can be sued in England if even just a single English resident read the defamatory article and in reality it has sod all to do with England."

            On the other hand, it needs to be brought as a private prosecution and so brings income into the UK. The UK has a lot of highly specialised courts and legal expertise and many cases end up being tried here even if neither of the sides nor the dispute have more than a tenuous link to the UK. And, whatever your personal opinion of the UK legal system, it's still held in high regard for fairness and equality in other places around the world.

  7. Chris G Silver badge

    It's nice that although they are Canadian operated in Canada and took money from Canadians as well as Americans and others, that all their assets are forfeit to the US.

    1. veti Silver badge

      American courts can and will snatch all the property within their jurisdiction, i.e. (with a bit of assistance) the USA. They can't touch property in Canada, unless the Canadian government chooses to pass it over for some reason.

  8. khjohansen
    Devil

    So nice to see ... ;>

    Nice to know that *some* people are actually making money off cryptocurrencies - or cryptic currencies!

  9. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I don't understand why they didn't just make a cryptocurrency. I'm sure there are even tutorials about forking Etherium or something.

    It sounds like they're great at sales. Why not do it legitimately if it's not that much harder than doing it illigitimately?

    Oh they're the sort of people who talk about their crimes over Skype text chat. Nevermind.

  10. Cuddles Silver badge

    "a made-up cryptocurrency"

    But I repeat myself.

  11. Paul Herber Silver badge

    They can't just mention "a sleepy town in Surrey" without telling us which one! So many sleepy towns, so little time.

    Anyway, to quote AbFab "Lacroix, darling, Lacroix!"

    1. WolfFan Silver badge
      Coat

      Woking? Apparently it ain’t quite woke yet...

      I’ll get me coat, no need to push.

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