Justice in Action: U.S. Moves to Snatch Back $2.3M in Crypto from Scammers

Last Updated on March 14, 2024

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Key Takeaways:

  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts has initiated a civil forfeiture action to recover and return $2.3 million in cryptocurrency to 37 victims of online scams, marking a significant effort in the fight against digital fraud.
  • A diverse range of cryptocurrencies was seized from two Binance accounts, highlighting the importance of cross-platform cooperation and investigation in tracing and recovering funds related to cyber scams.
  • The collaboration between legal authorities and cryptocurrency entities, such as Tether’s involvement in the asset recovery process, demonstrates an evolving approach to tackling and mitigating the impact of online financial crimes on victims.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts has launched a civil forfeiture action with the goal of returning $2.3 million in cryptocurrency to 37 individuals who fell prey to online scams.

This move comes as part of efforts to combat the rising trend of digital fraud and provides hope for restitution to the victims involved.

USAO press release
United States Attorney’s Office press release. Source: Justice.gov

In a detailed seizure executed in January, authorities confiscated a substantial amount of various cryptocurrencies from two accounts held on the Binance platform. This cache included nearly 300,000 USDC, 1.5 million USDT, 102,000 TRX, 3,000 SOL, and 14,000 ADA.

The seizure was the culmination of an investigation into a sophisticated “pig butchering” scheme, which had initially targeted a resident of Massachusetts, coercing them into sending $400,000 to the fraudsters.

This money was then laundered through multiple digital wallets, eventually being traced back to the accounts from which the funds were seized, linking the scammers to a total of 37 victims.

The initiation of the civil forfeiture action is a critical step in the legal process, setting the stage for the potentially affected parties to stake their claims on the seized property. This procedural move is essential for the eventual redistribution of the confiscated assets back to the defrauded individuals.

This recent action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts follows a similar initiative by their counterparts in Chicago, who recently confiscated $1.4 million in Tether (USDT) from an unregulated digital wallet associated with a scam targeting senior citizens.

In a collaborative effort with Tether, the seized assets were destroyed and reissued into government-controlled wallets, earmarked for return to the victims.

Tether assisting US DOJ and FBI
Tether helped in seizing approximately $1.4M USDT tokens from scammers. Source: Tether

These initiatives underscore a growing trend of law enforcement engagement in the digital currency space, showcasing the lengths to which authorities are willing to go to protect consumers from emerging types of online fraud.

As these efforts continue, they serve as a stark reminder of the risks associated with digital assets and the importance of vigilance in the face of evolving cyber threats.

About The Author

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News Reporter

Victor Fawole, a seasoned Web3 content creator and social media influencer, excels in bringing the pulse of the crypto world to our readers.

With a keen eye for emerging trends and a talent for engaging storytelling, Victor’s articles offer a fresh perspective on the ever-evolving digital currency landscape.

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