Home Blockchain Tether Assists US DOJ and FBI in Seizure of $1.4 million dollars USDT in Stolen Funds

Tether Assists US DOJ and FBI in Seizure of $1.4 million dollars USDT in Stolen Funds

Tether Assists US DOJ and FBI in Seizure of $1.4 million dollars USDT in Stolen Funds

Hassan Shittu

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| 2 min read

Tether Assists US DOJ and FBI in Seizure of $1.4 million dollars USDT in Stolen Funds

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, Illinois, announced the successful seizure of approximately $1.4 million in Tether (USDT) on March 8, suspected of being proceeds from a fraudulent customer support scam.

Recovery efforts were spearheaded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with assistance from Tether in facilitating the operation.

U.S. Authorities Seize $1.4 Million in Tether in Fraud Scheme Bust

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the alleged fraud scheme was initiated through deceptive computer pop-ups claiming the victim’s system had been compromised.

Depending on their operating system, victims were directed to contact purported tech support representatives from Microsoft or Apple. 

Subsequently, victims were misled into believing their bank accounts were compromised, and they were transferred to individuals posing as bank fraud department employees.

Through coercion, victims were persuaded to convert funds from their traditional bank accounts into cryptocurrency, purportedly for safekeeping from hackers.

These funds were then funneled into unhosted cryptocurrency wallets controlled by the perpetrators, impacting victims across the United States, with a notable prevalence among the elderly demographic.

Tether issued a statement expressing pride in collaborating with the U.S. government to combat financial fraud within the cryptocurrency ecosystem in response to the seizure.

The company emphasized its commitment to upholding integrity in the industry and safeguarding users against illicit activities, pledging continued cooperation with law enforcement agencies worldwide.

“We are proud of our collaboration with the United States government in combating financial fraud within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The seizure of $1.4 million worth of Tether (USDT) marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to uphold integrity in this rapidly evolving industry,” a post from Tether on March 12 stated.

U.S. Authorities Make Strides in USDT Seizure, Highlight Collaborative Efforts

The recent seizure of $1.4 million in Tether (USDT) marks a milestone for U.S. law enforcement, representing one of the earliest successful recoveries from an unhosted virtual currency wallet.

As the investigation unfolds, details regarding the recovery methods remain undisclosed, although an affidavit filed on January 24 provides insights into the tracing of funds to five distinct wallets linked to the fraudulent scheme.

The affidavit notes that the suspected wallets contained assets traceable to wire fraud proceeds, transferred through intermediary addresses in small batches, likely in an attempt to launder the proceeds.

Tether has risen as a critical partner in digital currency law enforcement efforts, actively collaborating with U.S. authorities to assist in freezing assets linked to illicit activities. Notably, in December, Tether froze assets in 41 wallets associated with individuals on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned list.

In a letter in December, Tether revealed that it had frozen 326 wallets containing $435 million worth of USDT for U.S. authorities, demonstrating its commitment to supporting law enforcement efforts.

The company’s proactive stance extends globally, with cooperation spanning 19 jurisdictions and ongoing assistance provided to law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Tether’s efforts have extended beyond asset freezes, with the company actively offering information to aid ongoing investigations. Tether froze 800 million USDT in secondary market addresses as well, primarily associated with hacking and theft incidents.

The company’s collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice alone has seen it respond to 68 requests, blocking 188 wallets containing 70 million USDT.

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