Couple amasses nearly P1 billion in Bitcoin scam

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 10) - The Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested a couple who allegedly amassed wealth worth nearly P1 billion through popular digital currency Bitcoin.

Arnel Ordonio, 27, and his wife Leonady, were presented before some 50 victims in Camp Crame on Tuesday, all demanding for the return of their money. The suspects were captured in an entrapment operation on April 4 in Vigan City,

Police said the couple lured people to to invest in the Ordonios' business, promising investors easy money, while riding on the popularity of Bitcoin.

Valued at USD$168 billion, Bitcoin has dominated headlines on investment. Bitcoin is a digital currency used as a payment system that works without a central bank or single administrator.

PNP described the scam as similar to the pyramid scheme, but with the use of electronic money.

Under the scheme, investors were promised of at least 30 percent profit in about half a month for a minimum bankrolled capital of P90 thousand. Some of the investments went as a high as P29 million.

Speaking from experience, PNP chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa urged the public to refrain from putting their money on questionable businesses, saying that "If it's too good to be true, it probably is."

"Alam ko 'yan, dahil biktima din ako nyan noon (I know that scam because of I was also a victim of it," said Dela Rose while bursting into laughter.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group filed syndicated estafa charges against the couple before the Department of Justice. CIDG said they studying of raising the charges to economic sabotage.