The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized tens of millions of dollars in crypto assets from an individual who allegedly sold illicit goods and laundered funds through the Dark Web.
According to a new press release, the DOJ captured $34 million in digital assets from a Florida man in one of the largest cryptocurrency forfeiture actions ever.
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The authorities’ complaint alleges that the man, who has yet to be identified, stole and then sold online account information for services like HBO, Netflix or Uber using the TOR (The Onion Router) browser.
The DOJ also alleges that in order to avoid detection, the man used tumblers, also known as mixers, which pool together crypto transactions and distribute them in random increments at arbitrary times into a designated crypto wallet.
“Records analyses revealed that the South Florida resident utilized so-called ‘tumblers’ and illegal Dark Web money transmitter services to launder one cryptocurrency for another – a technique called ‘chain hopping’ – in violation of federal money laundering statutes…
The goal is to obscure the original source of funds. Law enforcement agents seized various cryptocurrency wallets associated with the illegal Dark Web conduct.”
The DOJ said that the forfeiture action was the result of “Operation TORnado,” which is a joint investigation launched by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state, and local agencies.
“The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, and other priority transnational criminal organizations that threaten the citizens of the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence driven, multi-agency approach to combat transnational organized crime.
The OCDETF program facilitates complex, joint operations by focusing its partner agencies on priority targets, by managing and coordinating multi-agency efforts, and by leveraging intelligence across multiple investigative platforms.”
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Featured Image: Shutterstock/Art Furnace/Natalia Siiatovskaia
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