Secret Service Seizes Over $100 Million In Cyrpto

( The Secret Service is continuing to amp up its efforts to crack down on illegal financial transactions occurring with digital currency.
Recently, it was reported that the Secret Service seized more than $102 million from criminals just in cryptocurrency that was being used in various schemes. The investigations were all related to fraud in some way or another.
The assistant director of investigations for the Secret Service, David Smith, explained that analysts and agents are constantly tracking the flow of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin on the public blockchain. He described it as akin to good old-fashioned surveillance work.
In addition to serving as security for U.S. presidents, the Secret Service is also responsible for investigations into financial crimes and cybercrimes.
As Smith recently explained:
“When you follow a digital currency wallet, it’s not different than an email address that has some correlating identifiers. And once a person and another make a transaction, and that gets into the blockchain, we have the ability to follow that email address or wallet address, if you will, and trace it through the blockchain.”
The statistics compiled by the Secret Service reveal that there have been 254 cases of seizure of cryptocurrency since back in 2015, and the total amount seized was $102 million.
One well-known investigation was conducted in conjunction with the Romanian National Police. In that case, 900 victims around the United States were targeted as part of a massive fraud scheme.
Fake ads were posted on various sales and auction websites for some luxury items that in fact didn’t exist. Invoices were produced that were supposed to be from some reputable companies so that it appeared as if the transactions were indeed real.
When the victims paid for the goods that never existed, the schemes laundered the money by converting it into various digital assets.
Another big case involved a cybercrime syndicate out of Russia. They used one cryptocurrency exchange to launder a lot of money. The syndicate also involved operations that were tied to criminals in both Russia and North Korea, where U.S. companies paid money to stop ransomware through Bitcoin.
Smith Said that cryptocurrency transactions are so quick that it becomes very attractive to consumers in America, but also for criminals. As he said:
“One of the things about cryptocurrency is it moves money at a faster pace than the traditional format. What criminals want to do is sort of muddy the waters and make efforts to obfuscate their activities.
“What we want to do is track that as quickly as we can, aggressively as we can, in a linear fashion.”
Secret Service will first identify illegal activity that is occurring through the blockchain, then it will “dip a little deeper into those transactions and deconstruct,” Smith explained.
“You send me something bad on an email, I know there’s some criminal activity associated with that email address, I can deconstruct, find whatever tidbits of information that you used when you initially logged in or signed up for that email address.”