Russ Medlin, bitcoin scammer and pedophile wanted by the FBI, arrested in Jakarta

Convicted pedophile and alleged bitcoin scammer Russ Medlin presented to the media following his arrest in Jakarta. Photo: Jakarta Metro Police
Convicted pedophile and alleged bitcoin scammer Russ Medlin presented to the media following his arrest in Jakarta. Photo: Jakarta Metro Police

The Jakarta Metro Police has arrested US national Russ Albert Medlin, who is wanted by the FBI in connection to a massive bitcoin scam, on charges of sexual assault on minors.

In a press release received by Coconuts, the Jakarta Metro Police’s Cyber Crimes Directorate arrested Medlin in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta on Sunday. The police acted on a tip from neighbors who saw that young girls often came and went to Medlin’s residence on Jalan Brawijaya.

On the day of the arrest, officers intercepted and questioned three women — two of whom were underage — who had just left Medlin’s residence. The women confessed to involvement in a child prostitution ring, with Medlin being one of their regular clients.

Police then arrested Medlin and found that he is a fugitive flagged by Interpol. Based on Interpol’s Red Notice on the suspect, Medlin is wanted in the US by the FBI for his alleged role in defrauding investors out of US$722 million using a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme dubbed the world’s biggest bitcoin scam.

Interpol also flagged Medlin as a child molester who had been convicted for the crime twice, in 2006 and 2008, the latter of which saw him serve two years in prison for the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl and possession of child pornography.

It’s not immediately clear how long Medlin has stayed or lived in Indonesia.

The Jakarta Metro Police has charged Medlin with sexual assault on minors, which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence. There is no official extradition treaty between the US and Indonesia, so it remains to be seen if a deal could be worked out between the two countries so Medlin could answer for his alleged massive financial scam in his home country.

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