formed The US Department of Justice has teamed up with investigators to look into the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal purposes. The group, called the National Crypto Law Enforcement Team NCET, specifically addresses cases committed by virtual currency platforms and groups and individuals involved in money laundering.
Members are also investigating cryptocurrency mixing services, which charge customers for mixing identifiable coin funds with other funds, to obscure the path back to the original source of the fund.
Additionally, they track and recover assets lost due to fraudulent or ransomware extortion requests.
According to the DOJ announcement, the team combines the expertise of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Division and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Division. It also includes experts from US Attorney’s Offices.
The group will be under the supervision of the Assistant Public Prosecutor. This is despite the fact that the Ministry of Justice is still searching for an individual to lead it.
The Department of Justice is looking for someone with experience in complex criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies and blockchain in particular.
The hope is that NCET can provide the entire administration and other government agencies with the crypto and blockchain expertise needed to investigate and prosecute the growing number of technology-related cases today.
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The team investigates issues related to cryptocurrency
There has been a rise in cybercrime cases in the past years. Including ransomware attacks where actors target companies to hold their networks hostage in exchange for cryptocurrency payments.
Some of them had real-world consequences. The attack on the Colonial Pipeline caused fuel shortages on the East Coast, for example. While various attacks on hospitals around the world put people’s lives at risk.
The Biden administration is hosting a meeting with 30 countries later this month to discuss the threat of ransomware attacks to the global economy and national security.
The deputy attorney general said in a statement: We are launching a National Law Enforcement Crypto Team to leverage cyber management and money laundering expertise to enhance our ability to dismantle financial entities that enable criminal actors to thrive through the misuse of cryptocurrency platforms.
She added, “As technology advances, management must also evolve with it.” This is so that we are ready to eliminate abuse across these platforms and ensure user trust in these systems.
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