US DoJ Seizes Cryptocurrencies Worth $24M Linked to ‘Operation Egypto’ Scam

The US DOJ has seized $24 million in crypto after a request from the Brazilian government. The funds are allegedly linked to a crypto investment scheme that defrauded tens of thousands of Brazilians of more than $200 million.

November 5, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has cooperated with the Brazilian government to report that it has seized $ 24 million worth of cryptocurrencies from fraudulent groups that have received large sums of money from many Brazilian investors. The Justice Department said in a press release.

US seized $24 Million in cryptocurrency in Brazil

According to the announcement, the US Justice Department participated in the investigation “Operation Egypto” at the request of the Brazilian government based on the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the Brazilian government. The authorities have now confiscated about $24 million in cryptocurrencies from accounts belonging to a Brazilian crime cartel.

The seized cryptocurrencies are said to be currently held in the United States, but the specific brand has not been disclosed.

Brazilian law enforcement agencies have accused the fraudulent groups, including Brazilian Marcos Antonio Fagundes, who is the central figure in the group, of financial institution management, money laundering, securities law violations, etc., and Brazilian courts have authority over the seizure of cryptos in the United States.

Read also: FBI Warns Against the Steep Rise in COVID-19 Crypto Scams

From 2017 to 2019, the criminal group touted a cryptocurrency investment and high-interest rate investment model, raising funds from more than a thousand Brazilian investors. The total amount of money received is more than 200 million dollars, but the actual situation is very different, such as the investment in virtual currency is small and the return rate set for investors is also significantly different.

US government seized terrorist groups crypto accounts

Earlier this year, the US government seized more than 300 cryptocurrency accounts operated by terrorists. The agency said three overseas terrorist groups used cryptocurrencies and social media to raise funds for their terror campaigns.

The cryptocurrency accounts allegedly belonged and operated by some of the most feared terrorist organizations, namely al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Hamas.

Recently, there have been a series of cases of crackdowns related to cryptocurrencies in the United States, such as BitMEX, a cryptocurrency derivative exchange, and its executives being accused by the US DoJ. It was also recently reported that police authorities seized 2,500 BTC from two criminals for money laundering not only in the United States but also in the Netherlands.

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