The seizure of more than $112 million worth of cryptocurrency associated with investment scams in the United States has been announced by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ has authorized seizure warrants for six crypto accounts, with Arizona, California, and Idaho judges overseeing the process. Court documents indicate that virtual currency accounts were allegedly used to launder multiple cryptocurrency scams' proceeds.
As per the DOJ, scammers established enduring connections with individuals they encountered online and persuaded them to invest in deceitful cryptocurrency trading platforms. The victims' funds meant for investments were channeled to wallets and accounts controlled by the perpetrators and their associates.
According to the FBI's IC3, investment fraud was the leading cause of financial loss in 2022, with reported losses amounting to $3.31 billion. Most of these scams were related to cryptocurrencies, which saw a massive increase of 183% from the previous year, totaling $2.57 billion in reported losses.
The majority of reports were filed by victims aged between 30 and 49. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the DOJ Criminal Division stated that transnational criminal organizations are utilizing confidence scams with technological expertise to defraud Americans of their hard-earned money.
The Director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team within the Criminal Division, Eun Young Choi, has asserted that the agency will persist in employing all resources available to impede and discourage confidence scams related to cryptocurrencies, utilizing blockchain analysis and focusing on the infrastructure employed by perpetrators.
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