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Crimes Involving Cryptocurrencies

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on August 10, 2021

Virtual currencies are a digital means of exchange that are unregulated and allow for transactions to occur without bank involvement – but times are changing. When the government believes that any digital currency is being used to commit a crime, as the transactions cross state lines, cryptocurrency crimes are under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

The federal criminal justice system typically imposes heavy fines and mandatory sentences in federal prison for financial crimes, whether involving Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dogecoin, Stellar, or the host of other digital currencies now available.

Cryptocurrency Theft

These cases often involve falsely enticing potential cryptocurrency buyers to invest in a product that does not exist or provides a “support number” where the individual contacted gains access to the owner’s digital wallet, takes the money and they never see it again. These illegal actions have led to incredible financial losses yearly, reported at more than $1 billion a year. When the perpetrators are identified, they can be charged with fraud and face years of incarceration in federal prison and fines.

Fraud and Cryptocurrency

These cases often involve a perpetrator convincing another person through deception to increase their cryptocurrency assets or induce a person to turn their holdings over. These cases typically lead to an array of federal charges, including grand larceny, wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft, and other crimes that carry heavy sentences and fines.

Money Laundering Cases Involving Cryptocurrency

When cryptocurrencies first became available, federal law enforcement lagged in being able to identify those who were using the currency to launder money. However, the FBI is now far better equipped to identify cases of money laundering, and the FBI Criminal Investigative Division has an extensive team focused on preventing cryptocurrency money laundering and fraud. When cases are identified, the individuals involved are sought out, arrested and charged.

Cryptocurrency Crimes and the Dark Web

Marketplaces that accept cryptocurrency as a payment method for illegal drugs, weapons, stolen personal information, or to purchase child porn have proliferated, but the FBI is working 24/7 to identify those they believe participate in these illegal actions, and file federal charges.

Defending a Cryptocurrency Charge – What are your Options?

Facing federal criminal charges is extremely dangerous, as the federal system is staffed by career prosecutors who are at the top of their fields. To challenge a federal criminal charge for an offense related to cryptocurrency, it is imperative that you are represented by an equally powerful, knowledgeable federal crime defense attorney who can take on the challenges with total confidence. Not all federal defense lawyers are familiar with cryptocurrency crime defense.

When you contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, you can trust that you are speaking with one of the premier federal crime defense law firms in the Los Angeles area and beyond.

Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP if you are being investigated or are charged with a cryptocurrency offense. The sooner our firm gets involved, the better, as our early intervention can have a significant impact on the final outcome. Call (213) 688-0460 today for a free initial case consultation.

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Posted in: Financial Crimes