It seems like the number of people who facilitate large-scale illicit activities online using cryptocurrencies is growing – and the government bodies are eyeing them closer and closer. In the latest cryptocurrency news, we can see one Silk Road user getting his millions in Bitcoin (BTC) confiscated by the United States government.
It was actually the U.S. Justice Department’s Southern District of New York (SDNY) that announced the arrest of the 60-year old Ohio resident Hugh Brian Haney and the unsealing of federal charges against him as a cryptocurrency-centric case.
The Silk Road user is said to have laundered millions of dollars worth of BTC that he accrued from drug deals on the infamous and now-defunct Silk Road dark web market. The U.S. authorities managed to seize $19 million USD worth of Bitcoin from him as part of the Thursday arrest.
Notable, the Silk Road was shuttered by the FBI back in 2013. However, there are still cases like these which prove that there are a lot of unsolved mysteries from the site. The Silk Road user with his $19 million in BTC is one of them, featured on many best cryptocurrency news sites this month.
If you are asking how did this all happen, it started when the New York unit of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – which is a wing of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency – helped the SDNY on the Hanley case and managed to track the Silk Road user. The Special Agent-in-Charge Angel Melendez confirmed his team had “employed blockchain analytics” in order to track the user.
The altcoin news show that there may be similar cases to this one where altcoins are used for illicit activities. How the FBI managed to track the Silk Road user and lock him is still unknown – though it is possible that the agents turned to one of the well known blockchain investigator firms for outside expertise.
The investigators determined that the Silk Road user had been transferring Bitcoin associated with his prolific Pharmville Silk Road vendor account to an undisclosed cryptocurrency exchange starting in 2017 – four years after the market was taken down.
The office of SDNY came up with a statement, citing the attorney Geoffrey S. Berman who said:
“As alleged, Hugh Haney used Silk Road as a means to sell drugs to people all over the world. Then he allegedly laundered his profits – more than $19 million – through cryptocurrency. Today’s arrest should be a warning to dealers peddling their drugs on the dark web that they cannot remain anonymous forever, especially when attempting to legitimize their illicit proceeds.”
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