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Insight and commentary on qui tam law in Oregon

Crypto bros perpetrate pig butchering scheme.

Allegedly steal over $80 million
January 28, 2024

I don’t know much about farm life. I mean, sure, I have kids so I read children’s literature which is full of farm animals acting like real people. But I can’t milk a cow or harvest wheat or grow a soybean.

But I do know the phrase “fatten a pig for slaughter.” Don’t need to know much about a farm to know that one. Enjoy bacon? Gotta fatten the pig for slaughter before that bacon makes it to your table.


Crypto bros know that too. It’s not enough to engage in wash trading, rug pulling, and outright fraud. Now, they’re using pig butchering schemes to cheat people out of their money.

What is a pig butchering scheme?

Glad you asked! In a pig butchering scheme, you, my friend, are the pig to be fattened and then butchered. It’s your bacon that the crypto bros are eating. Crypto bros find a vulnerable victim, often on dating site, and convince them into making an investment into crypto. The crypto bros have set up a fake website to show that your “investment” is appreciating greatly in value. They’re fattening you up to take more of your money. They use that fake site to convince you to invest more. If you ever try to recover your money, sorry, there’s been some losses, the crypto bros disappear, and you’re out your entire investment.

Four Individuals Charged for Laundering Millions from Pig Butchering Scheme

The US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles charged four individuals with scamming their way into $80 million. You’re obviously too smart to ever be a victim, but there’s at least $80 million in dumb money out there.

Here’s the scheme, as described by the press release:

“Pig butchering” fraud schemes (a term derived from a foreign-language phrase used to describe these crimes) consist of scammers encountering victims on dating services, social media, or through unsolicited messages or calls, often masquerading as a wrong number. Scammers initiate relationships with victims and slowly gain their trust, eventually introducing the idea of making a business investment using cryptocurrency. Victims are then directed to other members of the scheme operating fraudulent cryptocurrency investment platforms and applications, where victims are persuaded to make financial investments. Once funds are sent to scammer-controlled accounts, the investment platform often falsely shows significant gains on the purported investment, and the victims are thus induced to make additional investments. Ultimately, the victims are unable to withdraw or recover their money, often resulting in significant losses for the victims.

No whistleblower this time, but if there was, he or she could have recovered up to 30% of $80 million along with doing a real favor to the victims of this scheme.

If you would like to report crypto or financial fraud , you can contact attorneys at Markowitz Herbold PC. Vivek Kothari is a former federal prosecutor who represents whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. For a free consultation, you can contact Vivek at 503-274-7425 or