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Retired Ice Hockey Star Suckers IT Pro Into $700,000 Bitcoin Fraud

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Russia’s second most popular sport, ice hockey, has been stained by one of its former stars in a fraudulent cryptocurrency deal. According to Russian information agency TASS, ice hockey player Igor Musatov was arrested on Sunday over his alleged involvement in a Bitcoin fraud scheme in which the victim lost approximately $700,000. He has been detained for 30 days.

How an IT pro fell for a Bitcoin fraud

Per court documents, the victim of the $700,000 cryptocurrency fraud was identified as Abelyan V.M., a software entrepreneur.

Musatov allegedly talked the businessman who runs a software development firm into buying 103 bitcoins from him in January 2018 in Moscow. Abelyan was asked to pay a total price of 45 million rubles – $700,000 at prevailing exchange rates. At the time, the former ice hockey player told the software entrepreneur that he needed the money to purchase a new apartment.

After Abelyan had agreed to the deal he proceeded to deliver the money to Musatov’s office. The bitcoins were however not immediately transferred to him and for several months the software entrepreneur kept asking to no avail. It was then that he reported the matter to the police.

Missing the signs

In January 2018 when Musatov first broached the cryptocurrency deal to Abelyan, bitcoin price fluctuated between $10,000 and $17,000, as figures from CCN’s bitcoin price index reveals. The dollar-ruble exchange rate meant that 45 million rubles amounted to roughly about $800,000.

In January 2018 the Bitcoin price ranged between $10,000 and $17,000. | Source: CoinmarketCap

It can consequently be inferred that Musatov had offered to sell his Bitcoin at approximately $7,800. At such a steep discount, it is easy to see why Abelyan, presumably a sophisticated IT entrepreneur, was taken in by the fraudulent scheme.

Though they were never delivered and it is not clear whether Musatov had the Bitcoin in the first place, at the current price the 103 coins would be worth over $1 million. Abelyan would have been sitting on a paper profit of over $200,000 if he had held on to the bitcoins that he unfortunately never received.

September 17, 2019 12:15 PM