The increase in crypto-related activities has triggered the rise of criminals seeking to take unfair advantage of crypto investors. On Thursday, the U.S. law enforcers filed a lawsuit against three men suspected of facilitating a multi-million money laundering scheme.
In an official publication, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will place the three suspects under an extensive investigation to examine whether their activities conform with the law.
Three Men Arrested for Facilitating Crypto Laundering Scheme
The DOJ underlined that if the three criminals are found guilty, they might get a 30-year jail sentence. In the latter, the law enforcers released a list of the suspects involved in the $10 million money laundering scheme.
On the DOJ list, Zhong Shi Gao, Naifeng Xu, and Fei Jiang were charged with orchestrating a money laundering scheme involving banks and financial institutions. A statement from the FBI Assistant Director James Smith confirmed the arrest of the three suspects.
The executive described the arrest as an early warning to people engaging in unlawful activities or defrauding the investors. Smith condemned individuals engaging in bank fraud, threatening the growth of the finance sector. He regretted that investors had lost millions in money laundering activities.
The FBI official admitted that with the change in the innovation in the digital sector, identifying suspicious transactions has become a challenge. A review of the DOJ report demonstrates that the three suspects were arrested at different times.
Strategies Used By Criminals to Steal from Banks
The report illustrated that U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger will handle this case in collaboration with the District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Depending on the case’s complexity, the court tasked Judge Colleen McMahon to put the three in criminal trials.
From her vast experience in legal matters, Judge McMahon will precede over the case to examine whether the action conducted by the trio upheld the existing rules. The court document demonstrated that the suspects engaged in wire fraud, identity theft, and money laundering activities. The law enforcers noted that the bank fraud took place between 2018 to 2022.
According to the report, the three are accused of breaching the finance and banking rules by deceiving Chinese and Taiwanese nationals residing in the U.S. to open bank accounts. After successfully creating the account, the suspects gained control of the accounts and engaged in multiple transactions.
The report illustrated that the suspects adopted various strategies to steal the funds without being noticed. Firstly, the three criminal proved that some of the transactions were unauthorized, convincing the bank to redirect their funds to their respective accounts.
Alternatively, the financial institutions credited the amount to the suspect’s account, leaving the bank with an unbalanced financial report.
U.S. Law Enforcers Vows to Bring Down Crypto Criminals
Shortly after the transfer, the suspects hurriedly would either withdraw the cash directly from their accounts or use the funds to buy digital assets through a crypto exchange. The speedy transfer aimed to prevent the banks from realizing the unauthorized transfers were fraudulent.
Commenting on this, Damian Williams, a U.S. attorney, revealed that the three criminals will serve as an example to individuals or entities seeking to contravene the financial rules. He warned the public about the potential legal action against cybercriminals using crypto to conceal their unlawful activities.
Mr. William vowed to collaborate with other U.S. regulatory agencies to bring down the criminals defrauding the customers of their hard-earned money.The arrest of the three criminals marks a significant milestone for the U.S. law enforcers to shield the customers from exploitative business activities.
Lately, U.S. regulators have taken preventive steps to restrict the use of crypto in cyber crimes. This impressive stride has obliged the U.S. senators to form a coalition to back a Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act formulated by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. In her submission, Senator Warren regretted that criminals, drug lords, and scammers have turned to crypto to conduct their illegal activities.
The Massacheusset Senator has been leading crypto crimes campaigns by formulating policies to crack down on individuals violating sanctions and engaging in money laundering.
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