US seizes $54M worth of Ethereum linked to illegal narcotics business

The property in query had been traced again to Christopher Castelluzo, who performed narcotic operations from 2010 to 2015. Whereas his illicit actions started in 2010, Castelluzo solely transitioned to utilizing Bitcoin (BTC) for narcotic transactions on darknets in 2013.

Castelluzzo is at present serving concurrent 20-year federal and state jail sentences for drug distribution convictions.

30k ETH purchased at ICO

What is especially noteworthy is that Castelluzo initially acquired the 30,000 ETH throughout its Preliminary Coin Providing (ICO) in July 2014, utilizing 15 BTC stemming from his unlawful narcotics enterprise. On the time, the 30,000 ETH was price a mere $9,000, however its present worth has surged to greater than $54 million as of press time.

Along with Ethereum, Castelluzo additionally obtained 30,000 Ethereum Traditional (ETC) in 2016, which he used to accumulate different cryptocurrencies.

Subsequent to his arrest and incarceration, Castelluzzo tried to launder the 30,000 ETH whereas in jail. Nonetheless, U.S. authorities foiled this scheme by intercepting recorded jail phone calls in 2021, in the end resulting in the seizure of the property.

U.S. Legal professional Philip R. Sellinger said:

“The civil motion we’re taking right this moment seeks to get well hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of cryptocurrency, which the defendant allegedly obtained from drug gross sales. Whether or not it’s so simple as baggage of money or as subtle as cryptocurrency, we are going to take the steps essential to seize monetary positive factors defendants get hold of from felony exercise.”

James E. Dennehy, the FBI Particular Agent overseeing the case, emphasised that the forfeiture motion serves as a warning to others concerned in felony actions. He added that the federal government is dedicated to holding criminals accountable for his or her actions.

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