Bitcoins, threats and a suicide: the mysterious case of the biggest cryptocurrency scam in Spain
invest a little money and, without doing anything, multiply it without stopping. That is the promise with which the businessman Javier Biosca Rodriguez captured thousands of clients for years, a promise that was vaporized when he was able to gain the trust and money of others, crystallizing in the presumed largest fraud with cryptocurrencies from Spain. This past Tuesday, Biosca was found dead in the Malaga town of Estepona. According to the police, he fell from a fifth floor.
Biosca put an end to his life, but not to a complex case with even more unknowns than answers. At 50 years old, this businessman was being investigated by the National audience as the alleged ringleader of a plot that, by investing in cryptocurrencies, defrauded at least 250 million euros from up to 3,000 clients. Justice accused him of fraud, misappropriation, money launderingfalsehood in public document, criminal organization and bribery, among others crimes.
The lawyer representing 300 of the victims, emilia zaballos, has described Biosca as a “sociopath with charisma and the ability to convince people” who used his tricks to seduce and attract “people in need and hit by the pandemic” to whom he sold a solution to their problems. “It is the perfect profile of the scammer,” said the also president of the Association of People Affected by Investments in Cryptocurrencies in a podcast.
family criminal group
According to the complaint received by the judge, Biosca began his criminal activity in Fuensalida, a small municipality 30 kilometers northwest of Toledo. It was in 2019 when he, his wife dove gallardo and his son Javier Biosca created Algorithmics Group, a London-based cryptocurrency investment company. Although it “lacked all kinds of authorization” and was not registered with the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Biosca used this firm to convince all kinds of people to invest their money to acquire popular digital assets such as bitcoins, ethereum either litecoin. To do this, he promised them succulent returns of 20 to 25% per week, a siren song that seduced many.
During the first months, Biosca and his team fulfilled their promise. The return of these high rents served to gain the confidence of the first investors. After achieving this high profitability, Biosca contacted investors and gave them the opportunity to keep the money obtained or reinvest it to earn more and more. Most opted for the second option.
Convinced that they had found a bargain, they recommended “relatives and friends” to invest in the plot and word of mouth ended up multiplying its reach, spreading that blind trust like a disease. Following step by step the guide of all Ponzi schemeThus, Biosca managed to create a network of contacts and investments that branched out. The first year they had close to 500 clients, but the scam convinced around 3,000 clients, many of them small investors.
Complaint by those affected
Everything began to change at the beginning of 2020, as denounced by those affected. The promises of high profitability began to be diluted until they were reduced to between 8 and 10%. In October, the plot stopped paying what it had guaranteed to investors. Shortly thereafter, Biosca’s whereabouts were unknown.
Outraged by what happened, in March of last year a group of 300 affected people filed a macro-complaint before the National Court in which they denounced having been scammed, being the first collective lawsuit for a crime with cryptocurrencies. The expert report concluded that Biosca and his family had in their ‘wallet’ (digital wallet) a total of 1,532.55 bitcoins, then equivalent to about 75 million euros.
The National Court admitted the complaint for processing and commissioned the Central Economic Crime Brigade and the National Police Judicial Police Prosecutor to launch a research. In June, the judge investigating the case, Santiago Pedraz, issued an international search and arrest warrant against Biosca. Shortly after, he was arrested in Nerja (Málaga) at a routine roadblock by the Civil Guard.
Biosca remained in prison until last October. He then was released after depositing the bail of one million euros set by the instructor of the case, Alejandro Abascal. The Prosecutor’s Office had asked to investigate the origin of that money. Biosca was prohibited from leaving Spain and had to appear before the court each 15 days. His guarantor, Juan Antonio Zuloaga Bilbaowho also had to appear before the court, is missing.
According to his lawyer, Biosca fell last Tuesday from a fifth floor in the presence of several witnesses, a hypothesis towards which the police are also leaning. However, the victims of his alleged scam do not rest and have demanded an autopsy of the corpse to certify that it is the person who fled with his money. “It is known the accumulation of threats that Mr. Biosca has received from criminal organizations that would have invested with him, so these facts of death should be investigated,” they ask.