Reported this Wednesday, the FBI has laid charges against six people for their alleged involvement in a Cryptocurrency-based illegal money transmission operation valued at $30 million. These individuals are accused of conducting their activities without a proper money-transmitting license in New York, according to court documents filed in the Southern District of New York.
Dealings & Darknet:
According to an unsealed affidavit by an FBI agent who is looking to arrest the individuals, between July 2021 and September 2023, they conducted illegal activities through the usage of the darknet. They had converted Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies into cash. It’s like a plot straight out of a crime thriller.
FBI’s Secret Sources and Cash Pick-Ups:
The investigation took a rather dramatic turn in February 2023 when law enforcement apprehended an individual responsible for mailing bundles of cash on behalf of an unidentified co-conspirator. What makes it more intriguing is that this arrested individual later becomes a secret informant for the next eight months. During this time, authorities managed approximately 80 controlled pick-ups of cash, and the total haul was a jaw-dropping $15 million. Isn’t that shocking? Well, there is more to it. Keep reading for the deets!
This case is far from being a ‘he said, she said’ scenario; in fact, it is backed by a number of photographic and video surveillance evidence. It means that authorities are now well-prepared to take down the scammers. This bunch of pieces of evidence solidifies the claim that the accused not only operated without the necessary licenses but were also unregistered, which can turn the whole FBI against you.
These audacious illegal activities involve Cryptocurrency scams, the one that is mentioned above. Therefore, these hefty amounts of money laundering have triggered a swift and determined response from the U.S. government. Consequently, results in the formation of NCET.
National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET):
After this move that further underlines the U.S. Government’s commitment to tackling Cryptocurrency-related crimes, this brings us to this-: Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. She announced the formation of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET). This special squad is all up for the investigation-prosecution of Crypto-related scams.
A Strong Message by Deputy Attorney:
Monaco has sent a strong message that Cryptocurrencies and other virtual currencies are not for criminals to perform illegal activities. This is serious! The team under the leadership of Monaco has all its focus on Crypto exchange companies and other digital asset infrastructure providers. The ones that are under the radar could potentially allow the misuse of cryptocurrencies for nefarious purposes.
What’s even more interesting is the NCET’s aim to build capacity and provide training to law enforcement agencies not just in the U.S. but also globally. Moreover, this isn’t just a local effort; it’s an international one. The idea is to arm law enforcement agencies worldwide with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively investigate and prosecute serious crimes involving cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
A Quick Recap:
In a significant development, the FBI has uncovered a $30 million cryptocurrency scam in New York. These accused six individuals allegedly conducted an illegal money transmission operation without the required license.
Moreover, the investigation uncovered their activities on the darknet, where they converted cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin into cash. A surprising twist in the story came when an individual responsible for mailing cash on behalf of an unidentified co-conspirator turned into a confidential informant, aiding in around 80 controlled cash pick-ups totaling $15 million. Moreover, the case is strongly supported by photographic and video evidence, setting the stage for a potential crackdown on the culprits.
In response to such audacious cryptocurrency-related crimes, the U.S. government has taken decisive action by establishing the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET). Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco leads this elite squad. It is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting cryptocurrency scams. The message is clear: cryptocurrencies are not a refuge for criminals. The NCET’s focus extends to crypto exchanges and digital asset infrastructure providers, with an emphasis on global cooperation and capacity building for law enforcement agencies worldwide. This move underscores the government’s commitment to combat cryptocurrency-related crimes on a global scale.