U.S. Government Has Filed The 1st Case Of Crypto Sanctions Evasion
The United States Department of Justice has launched its first case regarding the use of cryptocurrency to evade sanctions.
In the first case of its sort, the US government plans to accuse an unnamed individual of knowingly utilizing cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions. The government is pressing charges against an unidentified defendant for running an online payment network in a sanctioned country, according to an opinion made by the case’s judge.
“The Payments Platform advertised its services as designed to evade U.S. sanctions, including through purportedly untraceable virtual currency transactions,” the court document notes.
The defendant also opened an account with a cryptocurrency exchange situated in the United States to purchase and sell Bitcoin. They then transferred thousands of dollars to two additional accounts at international exchanges. In the end, the defendant utilized those two accounts to send almost $10 million in Bitcoin between the United States and an undisclosed sanctioned country.
The defendant did not try to hide the fact that his service escaped sanctions because he believed cryptocurrency was untraceable. The defendant’s identify was linked to the payment site by investigators.
The defendant’s acts are said to be illegal and fraudulent under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). These acts are also in violation of the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s sanctions and regulations (OFAC).
It’s unknown which sanctioned countries is being investigated. North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and Russia are now the only countries targeted by US sanctions.
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