UK lawyer claims ‘super villain’ behind $6b Bitcoin laundering case

Jian Wen faces charges of laundering Bitcoin in a London court as part of an alleged $6 billion investment scam, as her defense claims the scheme’s true mastermind manipulated her.

The prosecution alleges Wen, working for her employer, Yadi Zhang, converted Bitcoin to cash via middlemen and purchased a Dubai flat with the funds. At the same time, Wen claims she was unaware that her employer’s wealth was criminally derived when over £1.7 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) was seized from her home.

The defense argued that Zhang manipulated Wen, described by defense lawyer Mark Harris, as the scheme’s true mastermind.

“Yadi Zhang is a super villain, and there’s no other way to describe that,” Harris said.

“Nobody in their right mind would sign up for that,” Harris added, describing Wen as an unintended scapegoat in Zhang’s scheme, which deceived around 130,000 investors through sophisticated investment vehicles across China.

According to the defense, Zhang, who arrived in the UK in 2017 using a passport from St. Kitts and Nevis and fled in 2020, was a “master of deception.”

The defense highlighted Wen’s previous employment at a fast food restaurant before her involvement in laundering money for Zhang in 2017, emphasizing the defendant’s transformation into an unwitting suspect under Zhang’s influence.

Harris revealed Zhang’s purported goal of establishing a kingdom in Liberland, a territory between Croatia and Serbia, necessitated Jian as the unwitting linchpin in her elaborate plot.

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