The IRS brings down a dark web drug dealer by pretending to be a Bitcoin trader as it set an undercover account on a peer-to-peer exchange to trade BTC for Cash so let’s find out more in our latest Bitcoin news today.
The IRS brings down the alleged dark web dealer after posing as a Bitcoin trader online when Chase Hite sent over $180,000 to an account dubbed Mr coins that the agency set up to entice criminals. The IRS posed as a Bitcoin trader to expose the alleged dark web drug dealer and tricked him into sending over $180,000 in cash to an account in the name of Mr. Coins on peer-to-peer exchanges like LocalCryptos.com. The sting operation is the latest instance of the US tax collection agency going undercover to expose criminals but a rare case of IRS posing as a trader.
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The anonymous nature of the crypto industry is getting even more attractive to money launderers and dark web drug dealers with crypto analysis company Chainalysis estimating that some $5 billion in funds were sent and recieved by the illicit entities in 2020.
The IRS posted its advertisement on LocalCryptos in2 020 when Mr. Coins started offering to buy BTC at above-market prices via email. Sellers got instructions to use encrypted messaging apps Wickr or WhatsApp to contact the order. As per the search warrant seen by Forbes, the trick worked on an alleged dark web drug dealer Chase Hite from Indiana. Using the name “Lucifallen 21” over the course of a few transactions, Hite sent $180,000 in cash to Mr. Coins in return for BTC. The IRS investigators pretended that a package of $28,000 in cash from Hit had been intercepted and lost by the Postal Service. When he called to complain, they were able to connect the call to a phone number he maintained. On the package, fingerprints from the dealer were found and Hite was charged in the Eastern District of New York without filing a plea just yet.
Undercover operations by the IRS can be justified if they are to gain more evidence or information which could be unavailable but for the target’s reliance on the operative’s covert role as per the guidelines. Before IRS snares include posing as a drug dealer on the long-running Bitcoin Fog service to anonymize transactions that were quite popular with Dark Web dealers and pretended to be a seller of counterfeit Gucci gear to expose the operator of the unlicensed money transmission business which exchanged cash for BTF.
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