Brazilian Authorities Seize Almost $29M Worth of Cryptocurrencies
In a recently conducted operation by the Brazilian authorities under Operation Kryptos, they were able to seize almost $29M worth of cryptocurrencies.
According to a report by CNN Brazil, the operation was carried out on Aug. 25 and it was the largest seizure so far in the history of cryptocurrencies. 5 people were arrested during the operation which includes Glaidson Acácio, owner of a bitcoin consultancy. He was arrested in a mansion in Barra da Tijuca, West Zone of the state capital.
Acácio was allegedly involved in a financial pyramid scheme that promises a 15% profit of the amount invested by clients. But his defense stated that although they were aware of the arrest, they do not have access to the contents of the investigation.
With the bullish trend in the crypto market, scams continue to proliferate. Bad actors take advantage of unwitting victims by luring them fast and high returns on their investments.
In November 2020, the Brazilian government with assistance from the US government in launching a crackdown against a popular crypto fraud scheme known as “Operation Egypto”.
During the operation, the government was able to seize $24 million in cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin ATM Operators Join Hands to Counter Money Laundering
Bitcoin ATM operators in the US have recently joined hands and created a coalition to counter money laundering and other crypto-related crimes.
On Aug. 25, Bitcoin ATM operators announced the formation of Cryptocurrency Compliance Cooperative (“CCC”) in a press release. Members of the coalition include leading Bitcoin ATM operators which include DigitalMint, Coinsource, and Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis platform.
As further stated in the announcement, the coalition was created in order to provide a “safer environment for all consumers and legitimize the cash-to-cryptocurrency industry” and boost compliance in the industry.
Seth Sattler, Director of Compliance for DigitalMint commented on the matter.
“The nefarious use cases plaguing this industry are well documented by several law enforcement agencies, and include fraud, elder abuse, and drug and human trafficking.”
He also added how some Bitcoin operators added layers of security like requiring mandatory KYC (know your customer) up to the extent of implementing AML (anti-money laundering) protocols. But due to complacency, some have failed to implement even the most basic customer protection resulting in the proliferation of bad actors exploiting the industry.
Bo Oney, Executive Vice President of Operations and Head of Compliance at Coinsource stated:
“Unfortunately, many BTM operators feel that merely asking for a cell phone number is enough due diligence to absolve them of their mandated KYC requirements. Such lax provisions provide a safe haven for bad actors to abuse the machines for nefarious purposes.”
But according to Oney, the creation of CCC will help promote regulatory requirements that will benefit all BTM users and operators alike. He further added:
“This will require input from the most knowledgeable in the industry, all with the goal of making the cash-to-crypto space as safe as possible for consumers.”
According to a report by the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation, almost 75% of BTM operators with kiosks have allowed transactions requiring phone numbers only from its customers. Sattler has encouraged others from the industry to join the group. He further adds:
“This isn’t just an industry group – this is a movement. It’s our hope that others heed our call and join this cooperative as we push for enhanced and modernized regulations in the best interest of public safety.”
A Hundred Million Dogecoin Mining Scam in Turkey
An alleged scammer duped investors and amassed $119M from victims.
The scammer pseudonymous online avatar “Turgut V.” along with his team was able to collect 350 million of DOGE (dogecoin). According to reports, Turgut and his cohorts defraud 1,500 Turkish citizens. They convinced them to buy DOGE (dogecoin) as an investment for supposedly mining equipment for the altcoin. They promised the victims of 100% return within 40 days only after investing.
The first three months went smooth and the investors and scammers were able to fulfill their promise to the investors. But after the investment surged to 350 million DOGE (dogecoin) the following month, the funds were reportedly lost.
The chief public prosecutor’s office of the suburb Küçükçekmece in Istanbul is now investigating the Turgut and its 11 associates. Authorities have issued a travel ban for Turgut and their partner “Gizem N.”
Turkey has been in the headlines for the past few months after local crypto exchanges have gone dark with their customers’ money.
In April, Thodex ceased operation after its founder, Faruk Fatih Özer, fled from the country along with $2B funds from the exchange’s customers. Only a few days after, Vebitcoin, a Turkish trading platform also ceased operations.
The country has since implemented regulations to counter the growing number of scams involving crypto exchanges in the country. What measure will the country implement this time to counter the new scheme used by scammers?
Man Files Lawsuit After Losing $800K BTC to Teenage Thieves
A man in the UK lost $800K of his BTC (bitcoin) to tech-savvy teenagers.
Andrew Schober, a resident from Colorado stated that his 16 BTC (bitcoin) was stolen using malware in 2018. His stolen cryptocurrencies were worth $220,000 at that time was and comprise 95% of this fortune. According to, Schober, this happened after he downloaded a dodgy cryptocurrency wallet app from Reddit. The app was allegedly created by teeners Benedict Thompson and Oliver Read who were both students from a top U.K. university. His funds were then transferred to a different Bitcoin address. He spent $10,000 for the investigation and to track the culprits.
The court document described the effect of the said theft incident on Schober that resulted in the loss of his fortune.
“The deployment of the Malware on Mr. Schober’s computer and the subsequent theft of Mr. Schober’s cryptocurrency was devastating for Mr. Schober.”
The document further adds how it also affected his personal life.
“He did not eat or sleep for days afterward and has been in a severe state of distress for the past three years.”
Schober was supposed to use the proceeds of the sale for his family. He first reached out to the kids’ parents but did not receive any reply from them so he decided to file a legal case against them. Both parents have since responded and argued that the three-year statute of limitations has already expired. But they did not deny that their children were the culprits of the theft incident involving Schober bitcoins.