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War on cryptocurrency crimes continues: DOJ merges teams to intensify crackdowns

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If you thought we’d seen the end of crackdowns against the rampant crime in the digital currency industry, it’s time to think again.

This week, the principal deputy assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Nicole Argentieri, announced that the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) would merge with the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) in a bid to give the latter more resources.

The move is set to double the number of criminal division attorneys available to work on crimes related to digital currencies. According to the DOJ, the decision was made because digital currency and cyber prosecutions are increasingly interrelated and will continue to be so in the future.

What crimes will the DOJ crack down on?

It would probably be easier to list the crimes that aren’t being committed in the industry. However, the list will undoubtedly include money laundering, theft, fraud, hacking, and more.

To understand just how rife crime is in the digital currency space, one needs to only look at the charges some of its best-known figures face.

In the wake of the FTX collapse, former wonderkid Sam Bankman-Fried is accused of securities fraud, wire fraud, campaign finance violations, and a litany of other charges.

Celsius Network boss Alex Mashinsky was recently arrested and charged with securities fraud, commodities fraud, and wire fraud.

Riccardo Spagni, one of the key figures behind Monero, has been charged with 378 counts of fraud and forgery in his native South Africa.

Jesse Powell, the co-founder of digital currency exchange Kraken, was recently raided by the FBI concerning a cyberstalking and hacking probe. Powell has not yet been charged with anything, but this wouldn’t be the first time he was caught up in an investigation. Perhaps he will assume the ‘Teflon Don’ mantle from the late John Gotti? Time will tell.

Former American footballer and businessman Reginald Fowler was recently sentenced to six years in prison after operating a shadow banking operation serving various digital asset exchanges. Fowler has deep links to stablecoin issuer Tether—likely the biggest scam in the digital currency industry.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg! As the DOJ and law enforcement agencies gear up for more crackdowns, expect a catalog of crime to be revealed and more carnage to unfold. Already, Binance executives are fleeing as founder Changpeng Zhao takes a defiant tone in the face of a criminal probe.

Is there anywhere safe in the digital currency industry? Only the original Bitcoin complies with all relevant laws and is decoupled from the fraud fest. Using it for micropayments and online commerce is the only safe option in the industry today.

CoinGeek has been reporting on and warning our readers about the above and more since we launched. Subscribe to stay ahead of the curve and avoid the scams. After all, what other publication predicted that Sam Bankman-Fried was playing a crooked game before it all came out?

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