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US DOJ Seizes $9M USDT As Part Of $225M Frozen By Tether In “Pig Butchering” Crypto Scam

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has revealed the seizure of $9 million worth of the stablecoin USDT (Tether) in connection to a cryptocurrency scam known as “pig butchering.” The seized funds constitute part of a larger sum of $225 million worth of USDT that Tether had frozen in external self-custodied wallets linked to the scam.

The “pig butchering” crypto scam involves perpetrators establishing fake relationships and persuading victims to invest in fictitious businesses, ultimately leading to the theft of their money.

Authorities Ramp Up Seizures in Ongoing Crypto Crime Blitz

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri emphasized the predatory nature of these scammers who target ordinary investors by creating deceptive websites, misleading victims into believing their investments are generating profits. In reality, these criminals are stealing cryptocurrency, leaving victims with nothing.

Authorities were successful in tracing the flow of laundered cryptocurrency through exchanges by following the sequence of transactions, a process known as “chain hopping.” Tether’s assistance was acknowledged in facilitating the transfer of the seized assets.

The U.S. government has demonstrated its ability to seize cryptocurrency associated with illicit activities, as seen in previous cases such as the 2020 seizure of 70,000 bitcoins linked to the Silk Road marketplace. According to a report from crypto intelligence firm 21.co in October, the U.S. government currently controls over $5 billion in seized crypto assets.

The DOJ indicated that additional major cryptocurrency enforcement actions are anticipated to be announced soon in collaboration with other agencies. This seizure of USDT underscores the increasing regulatory scrutiny of cryptocurrencies, aiming to curb illicit activities such as fraud and money laundering. While the pseudonymous nature of crypto transactions poses challenges for authorities, the ongoing crackdown reflects the commitment of government agencies to unveil and combat illicit activities within the crypto ecosystem.

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I want to save money. Will cryptocurrency work?

Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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