In one of the first criminal cases brought under US sanctions laws involving cryptocurrency transactions, a federal magistrate judge approved the Department of Justice’s criminal complaint. In the opinion unsealed on May 13, 2022, US Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqi ruled that the Department of Justice demonstrated probable cause in accusing an unnamed defendant of transmitting more than $10 million in bitcoin to a “comprehensively sanctioned” country.Continue Reading Judge Rules in Criminal Sanctions Case Involving Cryptocurrency

On November 8, 2021, law enforcement agencies in both the United States and European Union announced that a series of actions, including a number of arrests, were taken against the Russia-linked ransomware group, “REvil.”
Continue Reading Russia-Linked REvil Hackers and Their Affiliates Hit with Arrests by the U.S. and International Allies

Mark Alexander Hopkins, known as “Doctor Bitcoin,” pled guilty in the Northern District of Texas on June 29, 2021, to illegally operating a cash-to-cryptocurrency conversion business. According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Hopkins pled guilty to one count of operation of an unlicensed money transmitter business.
Continue Reading “Doctor Bitcoin” Pleads Guilty to Illegal Crypto Conversion Scheme

On Monday, October 19, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced a $60 million civil money penalty against Larry Dean Harmon, the founder, administrator and primary operator of unlicensed convertible virtual currency “mixers” for alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations.
Continue Reading FinCEN Issues $60M Fine for Convertible Virtual Currency BSA Violations

On October 8, 2020, the Department of Justice’s Cyber-Digital Task Force released an 83-page report entitled “Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework.” The DOJ report highlights many of the legal and enforcement risks posed in the burgeoning crypto marketplace, and includes various enforcement case studies as well as informative graphics.
Continue Reading DOJ Releases Cryptocurrency Enforcement Report