Crystal News | April 3, 2024

Crystal sheds insight on PLC Ultima investigation

by Conrad Eliott


In 2023 BTC-Echo, a German news outlet, received reports of suspicious money flows, abnormal price trends, opaque company networks, and even the use of ChatGPT as a ghost-writer in relation to PLC Ultima, ‘a unique, innovative crypto tool for mass use’. 

To investigate suspicions that PLC Ultima may be a fraudulent pyramid scheme, BTC-Echo engaged the services of crypto financial crime investigator AQ Forensics and Crystal, then published its findings in November 2023. 

In short, it discovered that PLCU’s business model is complex and opaque, particularly for less experienced crypto investors, and appears to be a scam that only benefits the founder, Alex Reinhardt, and his inner circle.  

Consequently, PLC Ultima applied for an injunction against BTC-ECHO for investigative research on the crypto project. In a noteworthy action, the Frankfurt regional court then rejected all 12 charges in February 2024. 

Here we summarise the article that originally appeared in BTC-Echo, describing what the investigation discovered. 

Why PLCU stands accused of crypto fraud 

Founded in December 2021, PLCU took less than a year for the German consumer rights watchdog, Stiftung Warentest, to warn potential investors against involving themselves with it.  

BTC-ECHO started receiving queries about PLCU’s viability shortly thereafter, and the red flags started waving. Among the reasons cited was its founder, the flamboyant Alex Reinhart, who was previously associated with the SwissCoin debacle. 

The movement of funds closely resembled the path followed by money launderers 

When the trail was scrutinized meticulously, it quickly disappeared, indicating that the funds may have been exchanged for fiat currency at various stages, with no sign of any productive investment activities. 

Litecoin blockchain could not be verified 

PLCU’s claim of being an enhanced version of the Litecoin blockchain could not be verified. and there is a possibility that a PLCU blockchain might not exist at all. A white paper, authored by PLCU, which has the hallmarks of being written by ChatGPT, supplies little practical information about how the project works, which further begs the question of why alleged blockchain experts would need artificial intelligence (AI) to write a technical document. 

Several anomalies regarding the authenticity of PLCU  

PLCU claimed to be registered as a company in Georgia, but without any concrete evidence to support their claim. Furthermore, they are involved in business activities in locations that are notorious for money laundering, such as certain parts of the Caribbean. In addition, PLCU tends to confuse the issue of company ownership with technical jargon and incorrectly used technical terms in their communications. 

The report further voiced concerns about the PLCU founder, Alex Reinhardt, whose rockstar-like public appearances at seminars and hyperbolic social media presence have little substance to back up his claims.  

Meanwhile, the Austrian Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FMA) has announced that it has filed a complaint against Platincoin, the predecessor of PLCU and associated with Reinhardt, regarding a raft of possible financial crimes. 

Find out how Crystal can keep all crypto industry role-players safe by requesting a demo here. 

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