SEC Moves to Halt Diamond-Linked Crypto ‘Ponzi Scheme,’ Freeze Assets

SEC Moves to Halt Diamond-Linked Crypto ‘Ponzi Scheme,’ Freeze Assets

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against what it alleges is a $30 million cryptocurrency scam based around supposed diamond investment. In a press release Tuesday, the commission alleged that defendant Jose Angel Aman operated a purported crypto business called Argyle Coin as a Ponzi scheme, using investments from new recruits to returns to pay previous investors.
Australian Government Employee Charged With Mining Crypto at Work

Australian Government Employee Charged With Mining Crypto at Work

A 33-year-old Australian government employee has been charged after he was caught mining cryptocurrency at work. In a media release Tuesday, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) alleged that the IT contractor from the Sydney suburb of Killara had modified government computer systems to mine cryptocurrency worth over AU$9,000 (US$6,184) for his own gain.
Crypto Investor Awarded Over $75 Million in SIM-Swapping Hack Case

Crypto Investor Awarded Over $75 Million in SIM-Swapping Hack Case

U.S.-based cryptocurrency investor and entrepreneur Michael Terpin has won over $75 million in a lawsuit related to a SIM-swapping fraud. Terpin filed the case against 21-year-old Nicholas Truglia earlier this year, saying the Manhattan resident had defrauded him of cryptocurrencies after gaining control of his cellphone number. California Superior Court has now ordered Truglia to pay Terpin $75.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages, Reuters reported Saturday citing court documents.
Trading Firms Propose ‘Bad Actors Blacklist’ to Clean Up Crypto Industry

Trading Firms Propose ‘Bad Actors Blacklist’ to Clean Up Crypto Industry

A group of cryptocurrency trading firms has come together to discuss ways to prevent the rising number of hacks and scams in the industry. Ripple, market maker Cumberland, Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Holdings and over 30 other firms met at a recent round-table event in Chicago for the initiative, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
DeepDotWeb Defendants Used Bitcoin to Hide Criminal Proceeds, Say Feds

DeepDotWeb Defendants Used Bitcoin to Hide Criminal Proceeds, Say Feds

U.S. authorities have formally charged the alleged moderators of DeepDotWeb, the dark web comparison and news site seized by the feds, with money laundering, taking illegal kickbacks and other crimes. Police arrested the two Israeli citizens – Tal Prihar, 37, and Michael Phan, 34 — on Monday. Prihar, who lived in Brazil, was taken in France while police arrested Phan in Israel.
Hackers Are Shuffling Binance’s Stolen Bitcoin

Hackers Are Shuffling Binance’s Stolen Bitcoin

A team at blockchain services company Coinfirm has been watching the erratic movements of the bitcoin associated with $40 million stolen in the latest Binance breach. At 4:11 AM on May 8 the hacker or hackers moved 1214 BTC ($7.16 million) to new addresses and then moved another 1337 “to 2 new addresses held by the hacker.
FBI Seizes Popular Dark Market Search Site DeepDotWeb for Money Laundering

FBI Seizes Popular Dark Market Search Site DeepDotWeb for Money Laundering

The FBI has seized DeepDotWeb, a comparison search system and news site about dark web markets, accusing the outfit of money laundering. Police in five countries arrested the alleged operators – including two Israelis and moderators in France, Germany, and the Netherlands – in a sweeping international raid disclosed Tuesday and took down the .
Crypto Crime Blotter: Scammers Dupe Jersey Island Man Out of £1.2 million, Backpage Laundered Cash With Crypto

Crypto Crime Blotter: Scammers Dupe Jersey Island Man Out of £1.2 million, Backpage Laundered Cash With Crypto

Another week, another bunch of crypto crimes. In what we hope will be a regular series of posts, we’ve rounded up the week’s biggest bits of crypto crime. First up? A Isle of Jersey victim who sent £1.2 million to scammers who pretended to offer him or her bitcoin. The scammers – who authorities claim came from Norway – spent 18 months convicing the unnamed victim to give up their life savings for a “surefire” investment in crypto.
NYPD Warns $2 Million Stolen in Scam Involving Bitcoin

NYPD Warns $2 Million Stolen in Scam Involving Bitcoin

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has warned the public to be aware of phone scams in which callers impersonate government officials and demand payments in bitcoin and other methods. Callers generally claim to be officials from the Social Security Administration or other law enforcement agencies and threaten victims, requesting bitcoin, prepaid gift cards, and bank wire transfers, NYPD said earlier this week.
Crypto Crime May Have Cost Sector $1.2 Billion in Q1, Says Report

Crypto Crime May Have Cost Sector $1.2 Billion in Q1, Says Report

Losses arising from cryptocurrency hacks and fraud may have reached as high as $1.2 billion in the first quarter of the year, new research from blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace suggests. The total figure includes over $356 million lost from exchanges (including QuadrigaCX’s $195 million) and over $850 million alleged to have been lost from the Bitfinex exchange by the New York Attorney General’s office last week.
New Crypto-Mining Malware Targeting Asian Firms With NSA Tools

New Crypto-Mining Malware Targeting Asian Firms With NSA Tools

A new form of malware is targeting enterprises in Asia to mine monero (XMR) cryptocurrency. Cybersecurity software provider Symantec published the news in a blog post Wednesday, saying that over 80 percent of victims are located in China, with nations such as South Korea, Japan and Vietnam also seeing activity. Dubbed “Beapy,” the malicious code is a file-based crypto miner, not a browser-based one, the firm said.
US Prosecutors Charge 2 Foreign Nationals Over Bitcoin Investment Scam

US Prosecutors Charge 2 Foreign Nationals Over Bitcoin Investment Scam

Two Nigerian nationals have been indicted by U.S. prosecutors for allegedly running a fraudulent bitcoin investment scheme. The Oregon District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that the defendants, Onwuemerie Ogor Gift and Kelvin Usifoh, are charged with 11 counts of wire fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
New York State Sees First Conviction for Crypto Money Laundering

New York State Sees First Conviction for Crypto Money Laundering

A case involving millions of dollars in bitcoin and Western Union payments has resulted in New York State’s first conviction for cryptocurrency money laundering. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that defendants Callaway Crain and Mark Sanchez, both 35, laundered $2.8 million earned through sales of controlled substances carried out over the internet.
Student Gets 10-Year Jail Term for SIM-Swap Crypto Thefts Worth $7.5 Million

Student Gets 10-Year Jail Term for SIM-Swap Crypto Thefts Worth $7.5 Million

A 21-year-old student from the U.S. who stole over $7.5 million in cryptocurrency via SIM-swapping hacks has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. The Santa Clara County’s District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that the thief, Joel Ortiz, had hacked the cellphones of at least 40 individuals. Ortiz was a “prolific” SIM swapper, the Attorney’s Office said, adding that in one crime in May 2018, he stole more than $5.
Bitcoin Trader Ordered to Forfeit $800K Gained via Unlicensed Exchange

Bitcoin Trader Ordered to Forfeit $800K Gained via Unlicensed Exchange

A 22-year-old bitcoin seller from the U.S. has been ordered to hand over $823,357 gained illegally via an unlicensed money transmission business. The Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California announced the news on Monday, saying that the dealer, Jacob Burrell Campos, has also been sentenced to two years in jail.
Korean Crypto Scam Fleeced Investors for Over $18.5 Million

Korean Crypto Scam Fleeced Investors for Over $18.5 Million

Individuals behind a cryptocurrency scam in South Korea have cheated around 56,000 investors out of $18.5 million, police say. According to a report from Korea JoongAng Daily on Monday, the Seoul Special Judicial Police Bureau for Public Safety has arrested the CEOs of an online shopping website and a bitcoin firm, identified by their surnames Lee and Bae, as well 10 other people said to be involved with the Ponzi scheme.
Canadian Court Rules Drug Dealer Must Hand Over $1.4 Million in Bitcoin

Canadian Court Rules Drug Dealer Must Hand Over $1.4 Million in Bitcoin

A court in Toronto, Canada, has ruled that a 30-year old drug dealer must forfeit CA$1.88 million (US$1.41 million) in bitcoin used in illegal activities on the dark web. On Wednesday, Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly ordered Matthew Phan to hand over 281.41 bitcoins to the Ministry of the Attorney General, according to a report from The Toronto Star.
US State Seeks to Confiscate $24 Million in Dark Web Bitcoin

US State Seeks to Confiscate $24 Million in Dark Web Bitcoin

The U.S. government is seeking to forfeit 4,000 bitcoins that were seized during a crackdown of vendors on darkweb marketplaces – an amount that worth over $24 million as of press time. According to an announcement published by the Department of Justice for the District of Maryland on Tuesday, the prosecutors indicted two men, Ryan Farace and Robert Swain, both residents of the state who allegedly manufactured drugs and distributed them through darkweb marketplaces.
The Crypto Community Must Use the Blockchain to Self-Police

The Crypto Community Must Use the Blockchain to Self-Police

Yaya J. Fanusie is the director of analysis at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. He tweets at @signcurve.
Philippines Lawmaker Urges Senate to Expedite Crypto Crime Bills

Philippines Lawmaker Urges Senate to Expedite Crypto Crime Bills

A Philippines lawmaker is seeking to speed up the passage of legislation that would increase the penalties for crimes involving cryptocurrencies. Leila M. de Lima, a Philippines’ opposition senator, urged her colleagues in the legislative house on Monday to allow “swift passage” of bills she has previously introduced that propose raising the penalties for crypto crimes to one degree higher than currently.
Bitcoin Miner Blames Trading Crackdown in China for Shooting

Bitcoin Miner Blames Trading Crackdown in China for Shooting

A bitcoin miner in Taiwan is blaming the crackdown on bitcoin trading in mainland China for an incident in which he was shot by local gangsters. According to a report from Taiwanese news source Liberty Times, the incident occurred on Saturday night, local time, when the two suspects allegedly scheduled to meet a bitcoin miner with whom they had made a significant investment.

Rising Number of Darknet Marketplace Jobs has Researchers Concerned

Even though the darknet doesn’t have the best of reputations, its popularity continues to rise over time. That is not entirely surprising, as the allure of getting rich quick attracts people from all strides of life. One noteworthy trend is how the number of “job openings” found on the darknet is increasing. That is very peculiar, as its long-term impact remains unclear. Finding a Job on the Darknet One has to keep in mind the darknet is only a small part of the deep web, the part of the internet which is not indexed by traditional search engines.

Cybercrime-As-A-Service Has Become a $1tn Industry

In the world of cybercrime, various threats have emerged over the past few years. Computer and mobile users know that all too well, as it is evident staying safe is an ongoing challenge. The rise of cybercrime-as-a-service will ensure this process does not come to an end anytime soon. It creates a very troublesome situation for consumers and security researchers alike. The Popularity of Cybercrime-as-a-Service Any concept in the world can be turned into an “as-a-service” model.
Vatican Address to Highlight Bitcoin Use in Slave Trade

Vatican Address to Highlight Bitcoin Use in Slave Trade

The Vatican is soon to host an address on how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being used in the modern-day slave trade. To be held today at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) in the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, the talk by Bank of Montreal senior manager Joseph Mari is to provide an overview of the role cryptocurrencies play in money laundering, while highlighting the potential of blockchain to help the unbanked. The second of a three-day long event, itself part of an even larger effort led by Pope Francis to eradicate slavery entirely by 2020, the address is expected to be given to an audience including the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and other senior church leaders.
Michigan Man Charged for Unlawful Bitcoin Exchange

Michigan Man Charged for Unlawful Bitcoin Exchange

A Michigan man has been charged with running an unlicensed money transmitting business after selling nearly $150,000 in bitcoin online. According to an indictment released by Detroit TV news services WD-IV Friday, 52-year-old Bradley Anthony Stetkiw ran an exchange through the LocalBitcoins website, conducting transactions at restaurants in the Bloomfield area.