American Government Releases Its First Cryptocurrency Sanctions Evasion Case

The American government is going to file charges against an unknown individual who involves in using crypto to avoid sanctions. The judge’s remarks disclosed that the U.S government is going to bring charges against a nameless offender because it was operating a platform for online payment in the authorized country. Few activities involved crypto transfers. According to the court’s documents, this online payment platform was designed to avoid American sanctions by using untraceable digital currency transactions.

 The defendant opened an account with American based cryptocurrency exchange for buying and selling bitcoin, after that, it used two more accounts at exchanges in abroad countries and sent many thousands of dollars. Basically, the defendant transmitted over $10M of BTC between America and an unknown sanctioned country. The defendant was sure that crypto was untraceable, that’s why he didn’t try to hide the reality that his services circumvented sanctions. Instead, he proudly told that the online payment platform could evade sanctions imposed by America. The investigation team succeeded in connecting the identity of the defendant to the online payment platform.

The activities of the defendant are in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and deceive America; these activities also violate different sanctions and rules presented by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. America has imposed sanctions on many countries like Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and Russia, but it is still to know the name of the sanctioned country mentioned in the case. However, this is the ever first, United States case that directly relates to the use of cryptocurrency to circumvent the sanctions, but the prosecutor has followed many other scandals involving crypto in the past. Virgil Griffith, the developer of ETH and two others were accused of violating sanctions, and helped North Korea by developing blockchain in 2019.

Moreover, the United States Treasury Department took measures to block cryptocurrency addresses owned by bodies in sanctioned countries, including the North Korean-based hacking group and Russian cryptocurrency miners. The involvement of the Justice Department has been seen in many crypto cases irrelevant to sanctions. Justice Department put a charge on the married couple that this couple was guilty of Bitfinex attack, and therefore, it has seized BTC linked to the Silk Road dark net market.

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