DOJ Arrests Founder of Crypto Exchange Bitzlato in $2B Crypto Crime Crackdown
• The United States Department of Justice has arrested the founder of Bitzlato, a Chinese crypto exchange heavily involved in facilitating crypto crime.
• The Department of Justice was joined by representatives from the FBI, OFAC, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the arrest.
• Bitzlato is alleged to have fueled darknet marketplaces and aided in the process of ransomware attacks, amounting to over $2 billion in damages.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued an international cryptocurrency enforcement action, resulting in the arrest of the founder of Bitzlato – a Chinese crypto exchange heavily involved in facilitating crypto crime. The DOJ was joined in this enforcement action by representatives from the FBI, OFAC, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Bitzlato was established in 2019, and soon after began to provide services to criminals associated with darknet marketplaces and ransomware attacks. Over the course of its operations, Bitzlato is estimated to have caused over $2 billion in damages to its victims.
According to the DOJ, Bitzlato was used by criminals to launder money, purchase goods and services, and exchange cryptocurrency for fiat currency. The Department also noted that Bitzlato’s founders were aware of the criminal activities taking place on their platform, and failed to take proper measures to prevent them.
The arrest of Bitzlato’s founder is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Department of Justice to crack down on crypto crime. In the past year, the DOJ has worked with other international law enforcement agencies to shut down numerous crypto exchanges and seize assets from crypto criminals. The DOJ has also issued a number of subpoenas to crypto firms suspected of involvement in crypto crime.
The DOJ’s action against Bitzlato is a reminder to the crypto community that crypto crime will not be tolerated, and that the Department of Justice is committed to combating such activities. The Department is committed to ensuring that the crypto space is a safe and secure environment for all users, and that criminals cannot use cryptocurrency to evade justice.