In a stunning move, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized $9 million worth of USDT in a case involving the “pig butchering” cryptocurrency scam. The case involves a fraud allegedly perpetrated by individuals associated with the Tether cryptocurrency, which is also known as USDT. According to the DOJ, the suspects accused of running the scam are believed to have illegally obtained $225 million worth of digital assets connected to the Tether cryptocurrency.
In December 2020, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, David Anderson, charged three individuals with a variety of fraud-related crimes related to the Tether scam. According to the DOJ, the three defendants accused of running the scam are believed to have engaged in what is known as “pig butchering”, which consists of creating fraudulent funds that are then moved across various digital wallets with the goal of laundering the funds to benefit other individuals or entities.
As part of the investigation, the DOJ has now seized $9 million from five separate wallets that it believes were used to receive and launder the Tether funds. The seized funds comprise of USDT, Bitcoin, and Ether, which were transferred across multiple wallets in a bid to avoid detection from authorities.
In addition, the DOJ is also in the process of identifying other digital assets connected to the Tether scheme, as well as other actors believed to be involved. It is believed that this case could open up a much wider inquiry into the cryptocurrency space, with further investigations of similar frauds likely to come to light.