The National Court has placed in its sights a chalet in Stolinchna (Sofia, Bulgaria) and a high-end car of the Mercedes brand, model Jeep ML BlueTec. Judge José Luis Calama, instructor of this judicial body, has ordered that both assets be seized, which are recorded in the name of Diego Felipe Fernández Nojarova, considered one of the leaders of the Arbistar plot, an alleged pyramid scheme through investments in cryptocurrencies . The judge thus wants to ensure that at least part of the possible defrauded money is covered, which has already been quantified at more than 50 million euros – although the investigators pointed out that it could exceed 100 million.
Through a resolution of May 18, to which EL PAÍS had access, the judge decreed the seizure of the home and the vehicle, as well as “assets of all kinds of which the accused may be the owner” “until cover the amount of 50 million euros. Diego Felipe Fernández Nojarova —whom he also identifies with the name of Diego Felipe Rikardo Fernández, since that is how he appears on his Bulgarian identity document— was a director of Arbistar 2.0 Sociedad Limitada. According to the summary, he served as a partner and director of operations of the company, which was headed by Santiago Fuentes Jover, also investigated and arrested in October 2020 as the alleged leader of the plot.
The magistrate, who has already ordered his decision to be sent to the Bulgarian authorities, took over the Arbistar case in April of last year. He received it from the Court of Instruction 3 of Arona (Tenerife), which had started the investigations in September 2020 and decided to refrain in favor of the National Court after the request of the lawyer Carlos Aránguez, who represents a group of affected. Calama points out that there are “rational indications of criminality” and describes how those involved concocted a “pyramidal scam” that, to date, has been “quantified” at more than 50 million euros and that has left more than 3,000 affected, both residents in Spain and in other countries (such as Iran, Bulgaria, Colombia or Argentina).
“The action of those investigated consists of a fraudulent investment operation that responds to the pyramid scheme or Ponzi type, in which a profitable investment is faked, but what is done is to pay the interests of the investors with the capital that it is not invested or with that of the new investors”, explains the instructor of the Hearing, who adds: “While new clients are obtained, the pyramid grows. But, when they cease to exist, the montage falls down. In this type of scam, insolvency grows exponentially in the same proportion as the funds that are captured.”
The investigation reveals that Arbistar marketed alleged investment systems that, through the use of bot [programa informático que efectúa tareas automáticas]They bought and sold cryptocurrencies in the market. A type of operation that, as promised by the company, guaranteed a revaluation of savings from 8% to 15% per month. “The criminal dynamics of this type of scam is the delivery of the first dividends to give credibility to the financial business that always does not exist”, underlines the judge: “The first [clientes]convinced of the seriousness of their investment, spread word of mouth to other people that the interest contributed was paid […]thus involuntarily extending the effects of the scam and the number of injured parties”.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
“Remarkable presence in networks”
Nojarova remained unaccounted for for months. Moreover, the Arona judge issued international search and arrest warrants against him. Finally, he declared last January at the National High Court, where he assured that he lived in Bulgaria and that he only had the idea of creating the bot, according to detailed legal sources. But, according to the summary, which gives key importance to promotion to attract customers, this defendant had “a notable presence on social networks, with videos in the company of Santiago Fuentes.”
Santiago Fuentes is an old acquaintance of the Police and was involved in the pyramid scheme hatched by Germán Cardona, known as the Spanish Madoff, of which he was acquitted in 2017. Arbistar case The seizure of a Tesla Model 3 car belonging to another of those investigated was also decreed.
In addition to these investigations, the National Court currently maintains three other cases open for alleged millionaire pyramid scams with cryptocurrencies: the baptized nimbus cases, Kuailian Y Algorithms.