The US DOJ confiscated millions of crypto from a dark web hacker which was one of the biggest civil forfeiture filings in US history so let’s read more in today’s latest cryptocurrency news.
The American law enforcement agents seized $34 million worth of crypto assets tied to the illicit dark web and the operation marked one of the biggest confiscations of crypto that was ever executed by the US Authorities. According to the announcement by the US DOJ, the hacker is a South Florida resident that used online alias to sell up to 100,000 illegal items on the dark web. He sold online account information for services like HBO, Uber, and Netflix while accessing the TOR network. The latter is a tool used by many hackers via which they bypass censorship and visit websites that cannot be found on the web.
As noted by the authorities, the criminal employed tumblers and illicit money transmitter services to launder one crypto for another. The technique is called chain hopping and it violated federal laws. He then distributed the assets to a designated wallet and made it hard for the law enforcement agents to find the original source of funds. However, a joint investigation between state and federal authorities identified the criminal activity and confiscated the $34 million worth of crypto.
The US DOJ confiscated the funds but last year we saw the FBI confiscate around $2.3 million worth of crypto-related ransomware attacks. The person behind the operation was Aleksandr Sikerin who was a Russian resident known for his connection to the hacking group ReVil which attacked multiple American businesses in the past. The law enforcement agents seized $547,000 worth of BTC from another hacker and he managed to drain the funds from an elderly person that saved up money for retirement. Upon closing the lawsuit, the US DATA attorney Dena J. King ruled that the funds have to be returned to the victim and praised the efforts of Coinbase and the FBI that helped identify the issue:
“Government imposter scams are pervasive and can be financially and psychologically devastating for those who fall prey. Thankfully, in this instance, the fraud was detected quickly, and the stolen funds will be returned to the victim. Unfortunately, the majority of these cases do not share a similar ending.”
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