U.S. Government Seizes $3.3 Billion in Bitcoin Associated with Silk Road.

Over $3.3 billion, or 50,000 Bitcoin (BTC), were confiscated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) in connection with the infamous online Silk Road. This arrest is among the biggest in the criminal division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Southern District of New York, and the Department of Justice (DoJ).

The stolen Bitcoin was linked to Jame Zhong and the previously reported dark web marketplace “Silk Road.” On November 4, 2022, this person admitted to committing wire fraud by getting the 50,000 BTC from this website.

The digital money was seized by American law police as part of a search warrant on Zhong’s property in Gainesville, Georgia. The government also took $661,000 in cash, precious metals, and 80% of Zhong’s assets in addition to the bitcoin.

According to U.S. Attorney Williams, Zhong took the 50,000 Bitcoin more than ten years ago. The government has been searching for the money for years, and now they can finally put an end to the $3.3 billion mystery thanks to their research.

The conclusion of this ten-year analysis demonstrates that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not as useful to criminals as fiat money. To catch criminal actors, there is always a lead on the blockchain. According to Williams, law enforcement organizations made use of cutting-edge crypto-tracing technology:

The whereabouts of this substantial amount of lost Bitcoin have grown into a $3.3 billion mystery over the course of roughly 10 years. Law enforcement discovered and retrieved this significant hoard of criminal money thanks to cutting-edge cryptocurrency tracing and traditional police operations. This case demonstrates that we will continue to track the money, no matter how well it is concealed, even if it leads to a circuit board in the base of a popcorn container.

Bitcoin Removed from Silk Road
The study found that the darknet marketplace Silk Road, which ran from 2011 to 2013, allowed for the trading of illegal products and services including drug trades. Ross Ulbricht, the website’s creator, is presently serving a life sentence for his involvement in its creation.

Zhong was charged with conducting a Silk Road-based fraud enterprise. The perpetrator hid his identity and used 140 transactions in “quick succession” to fool the platform into using a flaw in its architecture.

Zhong funded his Silk Road accounts with 200–2,000 Bitcoin before carrying out these quick withdrawals, which gave him the opportunity to take advantage of the flaw. According to the press release, during the “Block Wars” event in 2017, this quantity increased.

A fork in the Bitcoin network occurred at that moment, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the newly formed token for this blockchain, was airdropped to all BTC holders. Zhong will be sentenced by a U.S. judge on February 23, 2023, while she is presently being held in detention.

He was able to get 50,000 Bitcoin using this approach, which Zhong then moved to accounts under his control. The law enforcement authorities asserted that the person took further steps to hide the ownership of these BTCs.

The Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Investigation for the IRS stated:

Mr. Zhong carried out a complex operation to steal bitcoin from the infamous Silk Road Market. Once he had pulled off the theft successfully, he made an effort to conceal his loot through a series of intricate transactions, hoping that his secrecy would be strengthened by his use of the “darknet.” The greatest in the world at tracking down money online or wherever our financial investigations take us are IRS-CI Special Agents.

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