$9 Million Tether Seized in Romance Scam Crackdown
Approximately $9 million in Tether stablecoin was seized from fraudsters who were pilfering funds from victims through romance scams and cryptocurrency confidence scams. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the confiscated funds were traced back to cryptocurrency addresses, presumably linked to an organized network of swindlers, victimizing over 70 individuals across America in a scheme known as Pig Butchering.
Per court documents, the criminals orchestrated their actions to gain the victims’ trust and deceitfully coerce them into depositing cryptocurrencies. The fraudsters crafted counterfeit websites, mimicking esteemed firms and reputable cryptocurrency exchanges.
Agents of the U.S. Secret Service skillfully tracked the victims’ deposits, which were swiftly laundered. The swindlers employed a technique known as “chain hopping,” where deposited funds were cleansed by transferring through dozens of cryptocurrency addresses and exchanging them into various cryptocurrencies.
The seizure of the funds ($9 million in Tether cryptocurrency) disrupted the financial infrastructure of the network. Currently, these assets are under the control of U.S. law enforcement in the Northern District of California. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Tether Limited Inc. assisted in the confiscation of the cryptocurrency from the fraudsters.