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$3 Billion In Bitcoin Seized By US Department Of Justice In A Decade-Old Case

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The @US Department of Justice stated on Monday that it had detained $3.36 billion in #Bitcoin from a person who had stolen it from Silk Road in 2012, a now-defunct darknet website.

James Zhong, the alleged cryptocurrency thief, entered a plea of guilty to wire fraud. Additionally, he has agreed to give up $661,900 in addition to other assets including his interest in a real estate business.

“Mr. Zhong is extremely remorseful for his conduct that occurred over 10 years ago when he was just 22,” said Zhong’s lawyer. The $4.5 billion Bitcoin heist that was discovered earlier this year, in the eyes of the authorities, was the largest cryptocurrency theft.

“For almost 10 years, the whereabouts of this massive chunk of missing bitcoin had ballooned into an over $3.3 billion mystery. We won’t stop following the money…even to a circuit board in the bottom of a popcorn tin,” said US attorney Damian Williams. 

According to the authorities, Zhong’s Georgia home’s hard drives contained Bitcoin. A little computer tucked away inside a popcorn tin in a bathroom closet was also found to contain additional Bitcoin. According to the suggested federal guidelines, the DoJ noted, Zhong might get a sentence of more than two years in jail. Notably, Silk Road was taken over by the US government in 2013 after becoming a significant black market for the sale of illegal drugs and money laundering.

The Department of Justice detained a husband-and-wife duo in February of this year on charges that they had laundered $4.5 billion in Bitcoin. The people arrested in Manhattan were Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein, 34, and Heather Morgan Morgan, 31. Prosecutors claim that they purchased a $500 Walmart gift card among other things with unlawful gains, including gold and non-fungible tokens.

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