Bitcoin Scam?

I think I've lost $2250 to organisers of a scam utilising the website kremfxtrade.com

I am building a page to document what happened, which in brief is:

  1. Approach by known and friendly fellow patron at local cafe.
  2. He shared very enthusiastically his good fortune in trading "options"
  3. He introduced me to Laura, who is his account manager, and described the process of buying bitcoin, sending to Laura who then creates the investment which I can track on the website
  4. I was suspicious, but patron seemed like a local of normal intelligence and who I felt I could trust
  5. Thinking this may be a scam I nevertheless was attracted by the 30% interest offered (I assumed per annum)
  6. patron created an account for me on kremfxtrade but when I couldn't change my password I asked to create my own account
  7. I created accounts on Hardblock (an Australian Bitcoin exchange) and kremfxtrade and started to buy Bitcoin on Hardblock
  8.  . . .
  9. Bitcoin transferred to Laura's wallet valued AUD$2250 became US$1650 which Laura advised was placed in my account and trading commenced
  10. Daily value of the investment as displayed on the website increased quickly and I requested a US$5000 withdrawal.  Laura said the money was invested for a month and couldn't be withdrawn early; she asked me to cancel the request.
  11. At 3 weeks into the scheme I asked for instructions on how to withdraw my money.  The numbers on the website were approaching $100,000
  12. Laura said I must withdraw minimum 85% and pay a fee (International Broker) of 8% which must be paid for before the funds would be released.
  13. I asked whether the fee could be paid out of the profits, as in other investments and she refused
  14. I offered patron the option to pay my fee and when I received my payout I would pay him double, suggesting that it would be easy money for him since he had told me that he has been working with Laura for 3 years and has already made $7,000, and was awaiting payment of a larger withdrawal.
  15. I'm awaiting further news, but the numbers on my account on the website have stopped increasing.

Current situation: awaiting further news/instruction from patron and Laura.  I still can't believe patron is smart enough to con me like I feel he might have, so I'll not identify him yet.  I have screenshots from the 2 facebook accounts I found in his name with his photos and friend lists.  I wouldn't have judged him to be a thief and a liar, but we'll see.

Please see screenshots and transcripts for more detail.

13:46 UTC 16APR2020