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FBI partners with Citibank, Sony, and Japanese authorities to seize $ 180 million worth of Bitcoin – regulation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has worked with Citibank, Sony and Japanese law enforcement agencies to “return more than $ 154 million in funds allegedly stolen from a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.” The US Department of Justice stated, “As a result of these coordinated efforts, investigators were given the ‘private key’ … which is required to access the Bitcoin address.”

Citibank and Sony help the FBI seize $ 180 million worth of Bitcoin

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced this week that the US has “filed a civil forfeiture complaint” to return “more than $ 154 million in funds allegedly stolen from a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.”

The FBI and various Japanese law enforcement agencies are investigating the case “with significant support from Sony and Citibank,” according to the announcement details, adding:

As a result of these coordinated efforts, the investigators received the “private key” … which is required to access the Bitcoin address.

Rei Ishii, an employee of Sony Life Insurance Company Ltd. in Tokyo, reportedly “embezzled” $ 154 million in May and transferred the money to an account he controls at a bank in La Jolla, California. Then he quickly converted the funds into “more than 3,879 Bitcoins, valued at more than 180 million US dollars today”.

At the current Bitcoin price, this stack is from BTC is worth nearly $ 188 million.

The Justice Department stated, “These funds were seized by law enforcement on December 1, 2021 based on the FBI’s investigation,” stated:

Law enforcement was able to track bitcoin transfers and find that approximately 3,879.16 bitcoins, which represent the proceeds of funds stolen from a subsidiary of Sony Life, were transferred to a specific bitcoin address and then to an offline cryptocurrency cold wallet .

“All bitcoins that can be traced back to the theft have been recovered and stored in their entirety. Ishii has been charged with criminal charges in Japan, “the DOJ stated. “The FBI’s technical expertise was able to trace the money back to the subject’s crypto wallet and seize those funds.”

Acting US Attorney Randy Grossman said, “It is our intention to return the stolen money to the victim of this daring theft.”

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comment section below.

Kevin Helms

Kevin, a student of Austrian economics, found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects and the interface between economy and cryptography.




Photo credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons


Source: Crypto News Austria

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