FBI created new crypto crime unit as the DOJ named an enforcement team director, and the new unit will focus on all crypto matters and anything crypto-related so let’s read further in today’s latest cryptocurrency news.
The US FBI created a new crypto crime unit and a Virtual Asset Explotation Unit to focus on crypto-related cases. The national cryptocurrency enforcement team named its first director Eun Young Choi according to the reprots from the Department of Justice today. The news was revealed as a part of the announcement naming the first director for the Justice Department’s National crypto enforcement team which was established in October 2021. Choi was a Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney general and will now serve as the NCET Inaugural director. As per the Justice Department release, the FBI’s new Virtual asset explotation unit will be a specialized team of crypto experts that are dedicated to providing analysis, training, and support across the FBI as well as innovating the crypto tools to stay ahead of the threats that might pop up in the future.
The unit will tie into NCET’s own mission across the bigger footprint of the Justice Department that includes the FBI along with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as well as other government agencies. The US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco noted:
“We have already made great strides in combating misuse of cryptocurrency platforms and we’ve shown—we won’t hesitate to go after those platforms that help criminals launder or hide their criminal proceeds. It is a crowded and aggressive threat landscape.”
Today’s announcement came after the Department of Justice arrested Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan for an alleged money laundering case in connection to the $3.6 billion worth of BTC stolen from crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016. Morgan was later released on bail while Lichtenstein remained in custody pending trial. The US Federal Judge ordered Ilya Lichtenstein to be detained pretrial while indicating that his wife Heather Morgan met the criteria for supervised release. Chief Judge Beryl Howell ruled in favor of Morgan in terms of supervised release. The Judge argued that Morgan’s role in trying to launder the stolen BTC from the Bitfinex hack in 2016 was outweighed by her husband’s involvement so she was released on a $3 million bond and she posted her parent’s home as collateral.