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U.S. Authorities Hunt for Stolen Crypto in Pig-Butchering Scam — Funds in Binance Accounts Uncovered

Published September 28, 2023 9:32 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Published September 28, 2023 9:32 AM

Key Takeaways

  • US authorities are making efforts to recover cryptocurrency linked to a pig-butchering fraud scheme.
  • US Attorney’s Office filed a civil forfeiture action to reclaim 100.896 BNB and 412,543.555 USDT from two Binance accounts, valued at around $434,000.
  • The inquiry into this pig-butchering scheme targeting a Massachusetts resident began in early 2023.
  • This pig-butchering crypto fraud has garnered the attention of various US agencies, including the FBI.

Authorities in the United States are attempting to reclaim cryptocurrency associated with the well-known pig-butchering crypto fraud.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said  that “law enforcement was able to trace cryptocurrency involved in the fraud and money laundering to two Binance accounts, where it was seized.”

US Keeps Cracking Down on Crypto Scam Involving Pig Butchery

In a statement  released on Tuesday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said it had filed “a civil forfeiture action to recover cryptocurrency alleged to be the proceeds of a ‘pig-butchering’ fraud scheme targeting a Massachusetts resident and involved in money laundering.”

The government explicitly sought  the forfeiture of 100.896 Binance coin (BNB) and 412,543.555 tether (USDT) from two accounts at cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Binance.com.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office noted that this cryptocurrency’s total estimated value stood roughly at $434,000.

According to the release, an inquiry into a pig-butchering scheme that targeted a citizen of Massachusetts started in early 2023.

In a pig-butchering plot, con artists extort money from victims by utilizing deceitful methods. Through online contacts, the con artist gains the trust of the victim before persuading them to participate in a sham cryptocurrency scheme. The victim often ends up making additional payments before realizing they have fallen victim to fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The announcement added :

“The complaint alleges that the defendant’s cryptocurrency is traceable to proceeds of wire fraud and was involved in money laundering. A civil forfeiture action allows third parties to assert claims to property, which must be resolved before the property can be forfeited to the United States and returned to victims,” the Attorney’s Office stated.

What Is Pig Butchering Scam?

A financial scam that preys on ignorant investors is a pig butchering scam. Scammers use promises of large profits and the opulent lifestyle that goes along with them to entice their victims in this scheme.

By gaining their victims’ trust over time, carefully observing them, and demonstrating the initial “profits” on their investment, fraudsters frequently gain the upper hand with their victims. After winning over the victims’ trust and convincing them to deposit larger sums of money on the fake platform, the con artists abruptly vanish with their victims’ money, leaving no trace or way to retrieve the lost assets.

Because the con artists “fatten up” their victims with fictitious gains before “slaughtering” them for the remaining funds, the scheme is known as a “pig butchering scam.” Consumers should be aware that these frauds are not exclusive to the Bitcoin industry and that they have been using similar tactics for years in investment and romantic fraud schemes.

Binance Helps FBI in Discovering Pig Butchering Scams

The Delaware Department of Justice’s Investor Protection Unit issued a cease-and-desist order against 23 organisations and people engaging in this kind of scam in September of last year.

The order also froze the victims’ cryptocurrency-related accounts. American police seized seven domains used by a group of pig-butchering scammers in November of last year. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seized $112 million worth of Bitcoin  connected to a cryptocurrency fraud that involved butchering pigs in April of this year.

In August this year, Binance revealed  it constantly works with law enforcement agencies and authorities around the world every day to identify and fight illicit actors in the crypto ecosystem. It supported the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) in a mentioned pig butchering case  from April.

In addition to the proactive investigative and monitoring work by compliance and security teams, Binance said it also works with law enforcement to prevent criminals from benefiting from their gains.

The company said its investigations team acted quickly by identifying and stopping the flow of illegal funds on the platform. This directly aided in recovering funds for several victims. The team’s efforts worked alongside the actions taken by federal authorities.

The fraud has drawn the attention of numerous American agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has repeatedly warned  the public about the growing appeal of this con in the nation.

 

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