he United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has confiscated $9 million in the stablecoin Tether (USDT). This fund is linked to an organization performing a scam known as "pig butchering", which exploits victims through methods common to traditional romance scams including requests to send cryptocurrencies overseas.
Chain Hopping: Laundering Through Cryptocurrencies
The U.S. Secret Service managed to trace victim deposits laundered through various cryptocurrencies. The DOJ labels this laundering technique as "chain hopping". Thanks to the service's diligent work, it has been possible to seize these funds and shine a light on these illicit activities.
Collaborative Efforts Lead to Tether Freeze
Simultaneously, Tether froze $225 million of its stablecoin, thanks to the collaborative investigation of the DOJ, crypto exchange OKX, and Tether. The clampdown on these activities signals a joint effort to track and restrain fraudulent activities within the crypto space.
The seizure carried out by the DOJ serves as a warning to cybercriminals that leveraging the cryptocurrency ecosystem for the purpose of laundering illegal gains will not go unchecked. Law enforcement is developing the necessary expertise to trace such activities and reclaim funds for victims, marking a significant step in bringing justice to victims of crypto scams.