US Forfeits Millions in Cryptocurrency Used to Launder Illicit Dark Web Proceeds

  • Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida successfully forfeited approximately $34 million in cryptocurrency.
  • The forfeited cryptocurrency was tied to illegal Dark Web activity in one of the largest cryptocurrency forfeiture actions ever filed by the United States.

A press release by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published yesterday said that federal prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida successfully forfeited approximately $34 million in cryptocurrency. The forfeited cryptocurrency was tied to illegal Dark Web activity in one of the largest cryptocurrency forfeiture actions ever filed by the United States.

According to the United States Government’s civil forfeiture complaint, the law enforcement agents identified a South Florida resident. The resident who made millions by using an online alias to make over 100,000 illicit item sales. The resident even hacked online account information on several of the world’s largest Dark Web marketplaces.

According to the complaint, record analysis revealed that the South Florida resident used “tumblers” and illegal Dark Web money transmitter services. The resident used it to launder one cryptocurrency for another. It is a technique known as “chain hopping”. It is used in violation of federal money laundering statutes. Tumblers are Dark Web mixing services that combine multiple cryptocurrency transactions.

The cryptocurrency is then distributed to a designated cryptocurrency wallet at random times and in random increments by the tumbler. The goal is to conceal the source of the funds. This type of action does not necessitate the suspect’s conviction in order for the assets to be confiscated.

Law enforcement agents seized a number of cryptocurrency wallets linked to illegal Dark Web activity. IRS-CI, FBI, DEA, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) investigated the case.

According to the DOJ press release this announcement was made by Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office; George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami; Deanne L. Reuter, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Miami; Anthony Salisbury, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami Field Office, and Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge, Miami Division and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

Chaahat Girdhar
Chaahat Girdhar

I'm Chaahat Girdhar, a journalist by profession who's turning her dreams into vision and vision into reality. I'm curious and have an appetite for gaining new knowledge. So I'm looking forward to learning things in the better way possible.

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