Taiwan nabs ACE Exchange boss for multi-million dollar fraud

David Pan, the founder of ACE Exchange, one of Taiwan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has been arrested on charges of fraud.

According to a report from Liberty Times, the Taipei City police detained Pan and 13 other individuals following investigations that uncovered illegal gains amounting to NT$200 million ($6.4 million).

The arrest, part of a broader crackdown, included raids at multiple locations, including the ACE Exchange office. Authorities seized NT$111.52 million ($3.6 million) in cash from the residence of a co-conspirator surnamed Lin and cryptocurrencies worth over NT$100 million. The total value of the seized assets surpassed NT$200 million.

Pan and Lin are accused of engaging in fraudulent activities for three years, using social media to promote false adverts and lure investors into buying worthless cryptocurrencies, including MOCT.

ACE Exchange clarified in an official statement that any alleged illegal actions were related to the “token project side” and did not impact the exchange’s operations. ACE President Wang Chenhuan announced that the exchange would delist the MOCT/TWD trading pair on January 8 and is ready to fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

A spokesperson for ACE Exchange indicated that the arrested suspects were not employees of ACE, and though Pan founded the company, he hasn’t been involved in daily operations since 2022. The exchange is currently cooperating with the police as a witness.

Founded in 2018, ACE Exchange is a key player in Taiwan’s cryptocurrency market, alongside MaiCoin and BitoGroup. Considering the recent developments, ACE is conducting regular market reviews and delisting tokens that do not meet its criteria. The exchange also mentioned that many token holders had previously redeemed their tokens for various goods and services, like meals or hotel accommodations.

Earlier in November, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) detained Chang Tung-ying, the chief partner of JPEX Taiwan on charges of fraud related to the cryptocurrency exchange.

During their investigation, Taipei prosecutors conducted searches at nine locations related to JPEX. They also summoned Chang and three other individuals as alleged suspects. Chang and JPEX lecturer Shih Yu-sheng, also known as Shi Yu, have been identified as suspects in the case for violating the Banking Act and the Money Laundering Control Act.

The other defendants, including JPEX salespersons Liu Chien-fu and Niu Keng-sheng, were released. According to the report, Liu was released on bail of 50,000 new Taiwan dollars ($1,550), while Niu, a registered individual responsible for JPEX Taiwan, was released after questioning.

Additionally, the report mentioned that Nine Chen, a Taiwanese celebrity and singer who had previously served as a brand ambassador for JPEX, was summoned by prosecutors. Initially called as a witness, prosecutors later named Nine Chen as a defendant in the case.