Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Bitcoin ‘Seized’ by US Government – Featured Bitcoin News

An Ohio man pleaded guilty to stealing more than 712 bitcoins that were “seized” by the US government in another criminal case. He has agreed to give up some bitcoin, ether and dogecoin as part of his plea. “Due to rising market prices, the total value of these forfeited properties exceeds $12 million,” the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said.

US man steals his brother’s ‘seized’ Bitcoin

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that a 31-year-old Ohio man, Gary James Harmon, has pleaded guilty to “illegally stealing” bitcoin that was “seized” by the federal government in the criminal case. looking out for his brother. The DOJ described:

Harmon pleaded guilty to wire fraud and obstruction of justice for illegally taking more than 712 bitcoins that had been seized by police and were subject to forfeiture in Larry Harmon’s pending criminal proceedings.

As part of his guilty plea, Gary Harmon agreed to forfeit “cryptocurrency and other property derived from fraudulently extracted proceeds, including more than 647.41 bitcoins (BTC), 2.14 ethereum (ETH), and 17,404,400.64 dogecoin (DOGE),” the Justice Department added. “Due to rising market prices, the total value of these forfeited properties exceeds $12 million.”

The Stolen ‘Seized’ Bitcoin

The stolen bitcoin was stored in a Trezor hardware wallet that was seized by the federal government in connection with Larry Harmon, who was arrested in February 2020. The device was stored in an IRS evidence locker. Federal authorities had not taken control of the coins due to the complex security of the device, the Justice Department explained.

Larry Harmon pleaded guilty in August 2021 to money laundering conspiracy in connection with “his operation of Helix, a dark web-based cryptocurrency money laundering service, known as a ‘mixer’ or ‘tumbler,'” it detailed. the Department of Justice, noting:

As Harmon later admitted, Helix laundered more than 350,000 bitcoins, valued at more than $300 million at the time of the transactions, on behalf of clients, with the largest volume coming from darknet markets.

As part of his arrest, police seized various assets, including a hardware wallet containing the illegal profits generated through his Helix operation.

However, while the government was still trying to gain access to the seized bitcoin, Gary Harmon used his brother’s credentials to transfer more than 712 BTCvalued at about $4.8 million at the time, from his brother’s seized device to his own bitcoin wallets in April 2020. He then laundered the proceeds through two online mixers before using them to fund his own spending, the account described. Justice Department.

The Justice Department noted that with respect to the Gary Harmon case:

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison; the obstruction of justice charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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What do you think about Gary Harmon stealing bitcoins that were seized by the federal government? Let us know in the comments section.

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kevin helms

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

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