Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies have been in the news because of positive developments as well as instances of fraudsters using the decentralized property of the digital assets to conduct nefarious activities. Latest reports revealed that the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance in association with the United States Secret Service, the US Homeland Security Investigations and the US Postal Inspection Service, arrested two individuals for laundering $2.3 million using Bitcoin.
In the official report, the District Attorney had said:
“When our office received reports of suspicious activity at ATMs in New York and New Jersey, our talented investigators followed the money, using our state-of-the-art Cyber Lab to uncover a dark web counterfeit pill seller whose $2.3 million operation spanned the U.S.”
The indicted members operated storefronts on the dark web that shipped and sold thousands of counterfeit prescription drugs like Xanax and others across the US states. The law enforcement agencies have aggressively reported that anyone involved in illegal activities, especially using cryptocurrencies, will be prosecuted under the mandate of the law. The release from the DA added:
“Not only is this the first time state prosecutors in New York have taken down a dark web storefront, this takedown represents the largest pill seizure in New Jersey’s history. If you are engaging in illicit activity on the dark web, you are on notice: we know how to find you, we know how to put you out of business, and we know how to hold you criminally accountable.”
The crackdown was another major achievement because it was the single largest quantity of pills seized in the state of New Jersey. The $2.3 million in question was collected as part of recharging debit cards and money withdrawn from ATMs across Manhattan and New Jersey.
This was not the first time that Bitcoin has been roped in a case involving illicit activities. Just two weeks back a Bitcoin fraudster in Canada was asked to forfeit $1/14 million that was obtained using activities on the dark web. Mathew Phan had used Bitcoin to fund his business of purchasing illicit items on the dark web such as firearms and pharmaceuticals.