LONDON, May 24 — A woman accused of converting bitcoin into cash and property to help hide the proceeds of a £5 billion (RM30 billion) fraud was jailed for nearly seven years today for money laundering after a trial in a London court.

Prosecutors said Wen Jian helped hide the source of money allegedly stolen from nearly 130,000 Chinese investors in fraudulent wealth schemes between 2014 and 2017.

She was not alleged to have been involved in the underlying fraud, which prosecutors said was masterminded by another woman who Wen believed was independently wealthy.


As part of their investigation, British police seized wallets holding more than 61,000 bitcoin — making it one of the largest cryptocurrency seizures by law enforcement worldwide.

The 61,000 bitcoin was worth around £1.4 billion when police gained access in 2021, prosecutors said during Wen’s trial. It is now worth over £3 billion.

Wen, 42, denied three counts of money laundering and said she did not have any knowledge of criminality linked to the bitcoin.


She was found guilty by jurors of one count in March following a trial at Southwark Crown Court. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two other counts.

Wen was sentenced on Friday to six years and eight months in prison for the single count of money laundering of which she was found guilty.

Judge Sally-Ann Hales said there was no suggestion that Wen had any involvement in the underlying fraud. But the judge told Wen that she had “no doubt that you knew” she was dealing with criminal property.

Prosecutor Gillian Jones said at the start of the trial that the mastermind behind the underlying fraud arrived in Britain in 2017, shortly after Chinese authorities began to investigate.

Wen was used as the “front person”, helping to convert the stolen money into bitcoin to take it out of China and then back into cash.

Prosecutors said Wen should have known the money was illegally obtained. Wen, however, said she was simply trying to provide a better life for her son.

Her lawyer Mark Harries said Wen was simply another victim of an “expert criminal supervillian”, who he said had “used her and abandoned her because she was dependable and expendable”. — Reuters