Over the last eight years, U.S. law enforcement has seized a great number of bitcoins and at one time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) held one of the largest bitcoin wallets after the Silk Road takedown. A recently published report shows the FBI has started using cryptocurrency mixing applications in recent times in order to obfuscate transactions from seized bitcoins that stem from a forfeiture.
Do as I Say, Not as I Do
The U.S. government is far from transparent and a newly published report shows just how shady the feds can be these days. The author Joshua Davis explains with great detail that the FBI has been evading “transparency and accountability” specifically when law enforcement has been handling funds from a seizure. For years now, the FBI, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ), and FinCEN have said that the use of bitcoin mixers should be criminalized.
The Feds have prosecuted operators of large centralized bitcoin mixers as well charging the operators with illegal money transmission charges and claiming that mixing facilitates crime. These days, cryptocurrency mixers are less centralized and bitcoiners can leverage bitcoin mixers that are built into a noncustodial wallet. Davis explains how “FinCEN is criminalizing Bitcoin mixers” and that anyone using them could be “accused of violating Anti-Money laundering laws.” The report also details how the FBI is “routinely” using bitcoin mixers and has been for a few years now.
The report shows that the FBI seized 39.67 BTC from a man in Tucson, Arizona, and the case involved unauthorized SIM swaps. According to Davis’ findings, the FBI sent updates to the victims and “made it seem as if the cryptocurrency had been already sold.” However, blockchain data shows this wasn’t the case and the victims were told a “clerical error” was made.
FBI Overpaid Bitcoin Miners by a Factor of 4700%
Interestingly, Davis’ findings indicate…