Posted on December 18, 2023

Four Men Indicted in $80 Million ‘Pig Butchering’ Scheme

Rohan Goswami, CNBC, December 14, 2023

Federal prosecutors have disrupted a so-called pig-butchering scheme that cost victims more than $80 million, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.


Lu Zhang, Justin Walker and Joseph Wong, all California residents, allegedly conspired with Illinois resident Hailong Zhu to launder the illicit proceeds of their scam {snip}

Pig butchering, from the Chinese phrase sha zhu pan, is an increasingly widespread scam that involves cold-messaging victims and attempting to build a rapport with them. After developing a bond, scammers convince victims to send significant sums of money to fake investment platforms, supposedly to teach the victims how to make massive profits trading crypto or other assets.

The exchanges are fraudulent, and the gains are falsified. Eventually, the scammers pick up shop and flee, sometimes with millions of dollars in profits.