The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that it seized about $3.36 billion in stolen bitcoin during a previously unannounced 2021 raid on the residence of James Zhong. Zhong pleaded guilty Friday to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
U.S. authorities seized about 50,676 bitcoin, then valued at over $3.36 billion, from Zhong during a search of his house in Gainesville, Georgia, on Nov. 9, 2021, the DOJ said. It is the DOJ’s second-largest financial seizure to date, following its seizure of $3.6 billion in allegedly stolen cryptocurrency linked to the 2016 hack of the crypto exchange Bitfinex, which the DOJ announced in February.
According to authorities, Zhong stole bitcoin from the illegal Silk Road marketplace, a dark web forum on which drugs and other illicit products were bought and sold with cryptocurrency. Silk Road was launched in 2011, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut it down in 2013. Its founder, Ross William Ulbricht, is now serving a life sentence in prison.
“For almost ten years, the whereabouts of this massive chunk of missing Bitcoin had ballooned into an over $3.3 billion mystery,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a press release.
According to the Southern District of New York, Zhong took advantage of the marketplace’s vulnerabilities to execute the hack.
Digitpol highlights, the recovery of stolen crypto assets may only apply to those that have made a Police report at the time of the theft and along with other parameters such as proof of transactions and wallet ownership.
Full article and source: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/07/feds-seize-3point36-billion-in-bitcoin-the-second-largest-recovery-so-far.html