Joseph James O'Connor, a UK citizen also known as "PlugwalkJoe," has been extradited from Spain and pleaded guilty to several charges related to computer hacking and cyberstalking in the United States. O'Connor was involved in two major cases, one in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and another in the Northern District of California (NDCA). The Daily HODL

In the SDNY case, O'Connor and his co-conspirators used a SIM swap attack to steal roughly $794,000 worth of cryptocurrency from a Manhattan-based company and subsequently laundered the proceeds. The SIM swap attack allowed the perpetrators to gain control of the victims' mobile phone numbers and use them to gain unauthorized access to their accounts. DOJ Press Release 

May 2023 has been a month of firsts for the cryptocurrency world. Last week we had a guilty verdict in the OpenSea NFT “insider trading” case. And, yesterday, we saw the first-ever prison sentenced handed down in an cryptocurrency “insider trading” case. DOJ Press Release 

On May 9, 2023, former Coinbase product manager, Ishan Wahi, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for leaking confidential information about upcoming Coinbase crypto asset listings to his brother and a friend. Crypto Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog 

In December 2022, the U.S. government indicted Mr. Bankman-Fried on eight counts, including wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to violate federal campaign finance laws. After agreeing to an expedited extradition procedure, Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”) returned to the U.S. to face charges, but the government sought to proceed on all original charges and added new ones, which SBF's defense claims are improperly brought.

On May 8, 2023, Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal defense lawyers filed 7 motions to dismiss seeking to dismiss the charges against the FTX founder:  Crypto Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog 

Yesterday, a jury in Manhattan federal court found former OpenSea product manager, Nathanial Chastain, guilty of wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly using inside company information to front-run trades of NFTs featured on OpenSea’s homepage. The government charged that Chastain profited in excess of $50,000 by front-running trades of NFTs that were to be featured on OpenSea’s homepage. According Reuters, Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Burnett told the jury that Chastain "abused his status at OpenSea to line his own pockets, and he lied to cover his tracks" Reuters

Chastain now awaits sentencing. His sentencing will be determined in-part based on sentencing guideline estimates generated by the United States Probation Office. The probation office will ultimately release a PSR to the court and the parties summarizing the facts and evidence proven at trial and an advisory guideline imprisonment range for the court to consider at sentencing. Federal judges are not bound by these guideline estimates and have the discretion to deviate either above or below the proposed advisory sentencing guideline range. Crypto Criminal Defense Lawyer Bog 

DOJ announced that Gary James Harmon of Cleveland, Ohio, was sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison for stealing over 712 bitcoin. The bitcoin, which was worth approximately $4.8 million at the time of the theft, were the proceeds of the darknet bitcoin mixer Helix and subject to forfeiture in a then-pending criminal case against Harmon's brother, Larry Dean Harmon. 

Larry Harmon was arrested in February 2020 for operating Helix, a darknet-based cryptocurrency money laundering service, also known as a "mixer" or "tumbler." Helix allegedly laundered over 350,000 bitcoin, valued at more than $300 million at the time, on behalf of its customers, primarily from darknet markets. Following the arrest, law enforcement seized various assets, including a cryptocurrency storage device that contained Larry Harmon's illegal proceeds generated through the operation of Helix. However, the device's additional security features initially prevented law enforcement from recovering the bitcoin. Crypto Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog