The US Attorney’s office of the Department of Justice for New York on Monday announced seizure of over $3 billion worth of stolen bitcoin linked to the Silk Road crypto fraud in 2012.
This mysterious usurping of bitcoin reported in 2012 has now come to a close. The Department of Justice explained that its team seized $3.36 billion worth of Bitcoin from a Georgia man who pleaded guilty to the fraud. The accused faces 20 years in prison.
According to DoJ sources, James Zhong, aged 32, stole nearly 50,000 Bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace in 2012. The heist was executed after depositing small amounts of Bitcoin, and he resorted to multiple withdrawals in a single second, tricking the system and then taking away more Bitcoin than he deposited.
The accused then transferred the bitcoin to many accounts and hid his whereabouts. IRS agents landed at his house in November 2021 and found the stolen cryptocurrency had been hidden in devices on underground floors.
New York Attorney Damian Williams and Tyler Hatcher, the Special Agent in the IRS Criminal Investigation LA office were part of the probe team.
As the investigation progressed, Zhong surrendered some Bitcoin and started cooperating with agencies.
Silk Road, on the dark web, had been a black market from 2011 to 2013. The founder of Silk Road Ross Ulbricht was convicted in 2015 for offenses related to Silk Road such as narcotics traffic, money laundering, and computer hacking, and is now undergoing a life sentence in prison.