An Ohio man has pleaded responsible to stealing over 712 bitcoin that was “seized” by the U.S. authorities in one other legal case. He has agreed to forfeit some bitcoin, ether, and dogecoin as a part of his plea. “As a result of improve in market costs, the entire worth of those forfeitable properties exceeds $12 million,” mentioned the U.S. Division of Justice (DOJ).

US Man Steals Brother’s ‘Seized’ Bitcoin

The U.S. Division of Justice (DOJ) introduced Friday {that a} 31-year-old Ohio man, Gary James Harmon, has pleaded responsible to “unlawfully stealing” bitcoin that was “seized” by the federal authorities in his brother’s pending legal case. The DOJ described:

Harmon pleaded responsible to wire fraud and obstruction of justice for unlawfully taking greater than 712 bitcoin that had been seized by regulation enforcement and was topic to forfeiture within the pending legal prosecution of Larry Harmon.

As a part of his plea, Gary Harmon agreed to forfeit “cryptocurrencies and different properties derived from the fraudulently taken proceeds, together with greater than 647.41 bitcoin (BTC), 2.14 ethereum (ETH), and 17,404,400.64 dogecoin (DOGE),” the DOJ added. “As a result of improve in market costs, the entire worth of those forfeitable properties exceeds $12 million.”

The Stolen ‘Seized’ Bitcoin

The stolen bitcoin was saved in a Trezor {hardware} pockets that was seized by the federal authorities in reference to Larry Harmon, who was arrested in February 2020. The system was saved in an Inner Income Service (IRS) proof locker. The federal authorities had not taken management of the cash because of the system’s advanced safety, the DOJ defined.

Larry Harmon pleaded responsible in August 2021 to cash laundering conspiracy in reference to “his operation of Helix, a darknet-based cryptocurrency cash laundering service, often known as a ‘mixer’ or ‘tumbler,’” the DOJ detailed, noting:

As Harmon later admitted, Helix laundered over 350,000 bitcoin — valued at over $300 million on the time of the transactions — on behalf of consumers, with the most important quantity coming from darknet markets.

As a part of his arrest, regulation enforcement seized varied belongings, together with a {hardware} pockets containing the unlawful proceeds generated by way of his Helix operation.

Nonetheless, whereas the federal government was nonetheless attempting to realize entry to the seized bitcoin, Gary Harmon used his brother’s credentials to switch greater than 712 BTC, valued at roughly $4.8 million on the time, from his brother’s seized system to his personal bitcoin wallets in April 2020. He then laundered the proceeds by way of two on-line mixers earlier than utilizing them to finance his personal expenditures, the DOJ described.

The Justice Division famous that relating to the Gary Harmon case:

The wire fraud cost carries a statutory most sentence of as much as 20 years in jail; the obstruction of justice cost carries a statutory most sentence of 20 years in jail.

Tags on this story

FBI, IRS, Seized bitcoin, seized btc, Seized Crypto, seized cryptocurrency, steal crypto from authorities, steal cryptocurrency from authorities, steal from FBI, steal from IRS, US authorities

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Kevin Helms

A scholar of Austrian Economics, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His pursuits lie in Bitcoin safety, open-source programs, community results and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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