On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the seizure of nearly $9 million worth of Tether linked to “pig butchering” scams that exploited over 70 victims.
Originating in Southeast Asia, “pig butchering” is a practice conducted by perpetrators who prey on victims by exploiting their trust to increase the amount of funds a given victim will send to them.
According to a press release from the Justice Department, the scammers were able to swindle their victims by convincing them they were sending funds to legitimate exchanges and firms.
U.S. Secret Service agents were then able to determine that the fraudsters obfuscated the nature of the exploited funds by layering them across several cryptocurrency exchanges, a technique called “chain hopping.”
“Through this significant seizure, we disrupted the financial infrastructure of an organized network of scammers who stole millions from victims across the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “These scammers prey on ordinary investors by creating websites that tell victims their investments are working to make them money. The truth is that these international criminal actors are simply stealing cryptocurrency and leaving victims with nothing.”
On Monday, Tether had to freeze $225 million of its stablecoins linked to an international human trafficking syndicate in Southeast Asia as part of an investigation by the Department of Justice.
According to the company’s press release, Tether’s was the largest-ever freeze of a stablecoin in history.
“Silicon Valley remains one of the world’s preeminent locations for cryptocurrency firms,” said U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey for the NorthernRead more on cryptonews.com