Seeking Victims in the HashFlare Investigation
The FBI’s Seattle Division is seeking information from potential victims of two fraudulent schemes launched by Ivan Turõgin and Sergei Potapenko through their companies:
- HashFlare.io, a cryptocurrency cloud mining operation
- Polybius, an investment offering in support of a digital bank project
Starting in or around 2015, Ivan Turõgin and Sergei Potapenko promoted their cloud mining service, HashFlare.io, which was launched by their company HashCoins OU. Throughout its existence, HashFlare.io offered five different types of mining contracts to the public: SHA-256 (bitcoin), ETHASH (ether), Scrypt, DASH, and ZCASH.
The government alleges that the HashFlare cloud mining service did not have access to the volume of mining power that was needed to service the amount of mining contracts it sold to the public. The government further alleges that, to enable HashFlare to create the illusion that it was mining bitcoin, Potapenko purchased bitcoin from a third party and distributed it to victims who were requesting withdrawals from their HashFlare account. Eventually, the HashFlare cloud mining service was substantially terminated in July 2018, and Turõgin and Potapenko used the remaining funds for their personal benefit.
Questionnaire: Seeking Victims in the HashFlare Investigation
In 2017, while HashFlare was still selling cloud mining contracts to the public, Turõgin, Potapenko, and other affiliates launched an ICO, Polybius, advertising the sale of PLBT tokens. PLBT token buyers were entitled to a 20% dividend from the profits that were generated from the main project Polybius claimed to be developing: a digital bank. The ICO collected approximately $31 million to be used for the creation of the digital bank. The government alleges that, instead of using the proceeds to create a digital bank, Turõgin and Potapenko used a large portion of the proceeds for their own personal benefit.
If you made any purchases and/or withdrawals from HashFlare, please complete this brief questionnaire.
Your responses are voluntary but would be useful in the federal investigation and to identify you as a potential victim. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.
The FBI is legally mandated to identify victims of federal crimes that it investigates and provide these victims with information, assistance services, and resources.