Reports emerging from Russia indicate that Valeria “Bitmama” Fedyakina, a businessperson and prominent “crypto influencer” known as the Crypto Queen, has been detained by law enforcement on charges of financial deception.
According to reports from Moskvich Magazine and the Telegram-linked news platforms Baza and Readovka, Valeria “Bitmama” Fedyakina was placed in police custody on September 15. This followed a formal complaint filed by an individual identified as an “associate,” who alleged fraudulent activities.
The undisclosed “associate” asserted that Fedyakina had, through deceit, extracted nearly $70 million from them. Law enforcement officials have raised suspicions that Fedyakina may have operated a “financial pyramid.”
Furthermore, they are also investigating the potential for more victims of her alleged schemes.
Media sources have reported that when these accusations came to light, Fedyakina allegedly attempted to make off with her investors’ funds. This action has been described as “abrupt” and occurred approximately a week before her apprehension.
Bitmama’s Cryptocurrency Deception and Detainment: A Complex Web Unveiled
Allegedly, Fedyakina promised investors a 1% return on their capital entrusted to her. She also holds the position of Chief Executive Officer and Founder of a cryptocurrency-related entity known as Holdinga. Bitmama had built a persona as a crypto queen and had garnered an impressive following, boasting nearly 55,000 followers on Instagram and an additional 7,000 on X (Twitter).
A separate post on one of her social media profiles indicated that she was scheduled to deliver a speech at an event in Moscow on September 16. Nevertheless, her firm’s website is offline, and her social media accounts haven’t been updated since April this year.
It’s worth noting that another website linked to her trademarked Bitmama brand is also inaccessible. As reported by the media, Fedyakina was in her sixth month of pregnancy when she was apprehended. If found guilty, she could potentially be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Due to concerns that she might attempt to flee, law enforcement authorities have deemed her a potential flight risk. Consequently, she has been detained in a pre-trial holding facility while awaiting a court hearing.
Who is Valeria Fedyakina, the Russian ‘Crypto Queen’?
This crypto influencer holds a UAE residency permit and has consistently stated Dubai as her place of residence on numerous social media platforms.
Notably, Fedyakina had gained recognition as one of the “10 Visionary and Driven Female Entrepreneurs to Monitor in 2023.” This acknowledgment came in a feature published by the International Business Times earlier this year.
She had also garnered attention in English-language media outlets such as the Arabian Post. When she was 28 years old, Fedyakina had spoken about the potential of cryptocurrencies.
She believed they could serve as a means to circumvent sanctions for Russian citizens. Moreover, she had garnered a reputation for working with a clientele described as “affluent.”
Moskvich Magazine reported that she had been “engaged in transactions with cryptocurrency exchanges for an extended period,” and remarked: “She commonly accepts cash from clients and facilitates the withdrawal of funds overseas for a fee.”
Fedyakina asserted that she maintained “extensive affiliations” with “business enterprises and state-controlled entities.” The same media source noted that Bitmama’s “daily trade volume” amounted to “tens of millions of dollars.”
In the earlier part of this month, law enforcement officers in the Russian Far East apprehended a cryptocurrency miner. This miner stands accused of causing “widespread” disruption by illicitly connecting mining rigs directly to a local power grid.