Working together, a group of federal authorities this week seized $34 million in confiscated cryptocurrency, which was allegedly obtained illegally, through the dark web.
Federal Authorities Seize $34 Million in Illicit Cryptocurrencies
In the United States, a group of Federal Prosecutors managed to seize 34 million dollars in cryptocurrencies from a man in the south of the state of Florida. Allegedly, he made illicit sales through the Dark Web and received compensation in the form of various crypto assets.
This is, so far, one of the largest seizures involving cryptocurrencies in the United States. This was stated by the Department of Justice , through a press release.
The identity of the suspect remains anonymous. However, it was revealed that federal agents seized several cryptocurrency wallets , associated with the man’s illicit activity, through the Dark Web.
According to the press release, the individual whose assets were seized is allegedly responsible for 100,000 illicit sales of various illegally obtained items and data.
This includes digital account information that had been hacked and traded on some Dark Web marketplaces. The illegal traffic also included user account information for popular services such as Uber, HBO and Netflix.
The suspect’s crime
The press release from the United States Department of Justice provided details on how the suspect accessed the Dark Web. From there, he managed to illicitly obtain various data and information that he also sold from the dark web.
The compensation of those sales was obtained in different cryptocurrencies that were distributed in a number of wallets.
To accomplish all of this, the defendant used The Onion Router Network of computers, configured to hide users’ IP addresses and distributed globally. With it he was able to access the Dark Web and commit all these illicit acts.
Further analysis revealed that the suspect performed a procedure known as “chain jumping.” To do this, it used cryptocurrency laundering cups that work by grouping together various transactions and distributing them to a designated wallet, in random increments and intervals.
The official report ensures that the agents investigating the case seized several cryptocurrency wallets associated with illegal practices on the Dark Web. The seizure action was part of Operation TORnado , carried out by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Some federal agencies also participated in the operation, including the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the IRS-CI, the FBI, the DEA and the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Computer crimes and illicit acts on the Dark Web are an everyday problem. And, as the use of cryptocurrencies becomes more popular and the crypto market expands around the world, new types of crimes involving crypto assets emerge.
Since 2020 the use of cryptocurrencies has increased significantly. Faced with this reality, some people took advantage of the security gaps inherent in development platforms to steal funds valued at several million dollars.
Just last week, the Ronin Network, an Ethereum -based sidechain that was developed for the cryptocurrency game Axie Infinity , was hacked for over $620 million in ETH and USDC.
In the first quarter of the year, decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms lost $1.22 billion to hackers, that’s almost eight times more than the $154 million lost in the first quarter of 2021.