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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 3, 2022

United States Attorney's Office File Civil Forfeiture Action to Recover Proceeds of Cryptocurrency Investment Fraud Scheme

Massachusetts victim targeted in online scam

BOSTON – The United States Attorney’s Office filed a civil forfeiture action to recover 73,586 USDT (Tether), cryptocurrency alleged to be proceeds of an online investment fraud scheme. Tether is a unit of cryptocurrency that is equivalent in value to one U.S. dollar.

In January 2022, federal agents began investigating an investment fraud scheme that targeted a Massachusetts victim. The victim had been contacted in October 2021 through LinkedIn. After further communications in Chinese through another application, the victim was lulled into making what she believed was a legitimate cryptocurrency investment. The victim was induced to download an application that appeared to be a legitimate cryptocurrency platform but was fraudulent, and then invested money through that fraudulent site.

After the victim reported the crime, federal agents traced a portion of the funds the victim invested to another cryptocurrency wallet, resulting in the seizure of 73,586 USDT. It is a violation of federal law to use wire communications as part of a scheme to defraud or to obtain money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses. A civil forfeiture action allows third parties to assert claims to property, which must be resolved before the property can be forfeited to the United States and returned to victims.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Andrew Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra W. Amrhein of Rollins’ Asset Recovery Unit is prosecuting the civil forfeiture action.

The details contained in the civil forfeiture complaint are allegations. The United States Attorney’s Office has not filed a corresponding criminal action on the matter.

Topic(s): 
Asset Forfeiture
Component(s): 
Updated August 3, 2022