An organized international fraud cartel involving digital currencies has just been busted by the United States Authorities.
Bring ‘em in
The rate of money laundering via cryptocurrencies while reducing over time is proving more difficult to be completely eradicated. After the numbers of cybercrimes committed with cryptocurrencies peaked towards the end of 2017— which interestingly coincided with the rise of the cryptocurrency market— new technological security innovations have since done well to crack down on some events since then.
However, the downside of technological evolution in security also means a correlating advancement in the methods at which crypto cybercrimes are being carried out. The recent success which took the cooperation of many law enforcement agencies, however, is welcome news to seeing out bad eggs out of the cryptocurrency industry.
Bring ‘em in: a report published by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), revealed that 12 of out of the cybercrime syndicate of about 20 suspects have been extradited from their country to the US; most of them residing in Romania.
How it worked
The fraud cartel was an organized process involving masterminds in Romania and base associates in the United States who served as the needed connection before the illegal money is laundered through cryptocurrencies.
The report revealed that the fraud group engaged its criminal associates in the US by listing fake products on sites such as eBay and Craigslist, products that were especially cars. While it could surprise a few that people could pay for used cars from the internet without having seen it first or even getting it tested by their mechanic, it becomes less shocking given the amazing deals and the stories that the fraud group sold to burnish their invisible fords.
According to the DOJ, the fraudsters listed fake cars for sales on the commercial websites and assumed carefully crafted profiles to sell their lies. By peddling stories that they were US military about to be deployed overseas and needing cash soon, they made their urgency and low deals plausible.
After payments were made to the US associates, the money was then laundered abroad through cryptocurrencies, bouncing from wallet addresses to another. A statement from the report read:
“The defendants allegedly orchestrated a highly organized and sophisticated scheme to steal money from unsuspecting victims in America and then launder their funds using cryptocurrency.”
Of the non-US citizens involved in the fraud, which totaled sixteen in total, 12 have been extradited and now awaiting trial.