August 14, 2022:

I took a close look at OpenSea’s new flagged NFT policy from the perspective of a blockchain criminal defense lawyer and one change in policy stands out to me. Here is a thread discussing that new change and how I predict it will impact the space.  Twitter Link

OS commented that: “Based on your input, we’ve already made the call to adjust elements of how we implement our policy. 1st, we're expanding the ways we use police reports: we've always used them for escalated disputes, but they'll now be used to confirm all theft reports.” I read this to mean that OS will use police reports to confirm ALL theft reports going forward.

August 18, 2022:

Defendant "his co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of ransomware attacks on individuals and organizations throughout the United States and abroad." "First identified in August 2018, Ryuk is a type of ransomware software that, when executed on a computer or network, encrypts files and attempts to delete any system backups." DOJ Link

"Of note, Ryuk can target storage drives contained within or physically connected to a computer, including those accessible remotely via a network connection. Ryuk has been used to target thousands of victims worldwide across a variety of sectors." 

August 24, 2022:

Defendants allegedly participated in a "scheme to steal millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency and trick U.S. banks into refunding them for the millions used to purchase that cryptocurrency, in part by using personal identifying information stolen from other people."  DOJ Link

Government alleges defendants "engaged in a scheme to deceive U.S. banks and a leading cryptocurrency exchange platform (the “Cryptocurrency Exchange”) by purchasing more than $4 million in cryptocurrency and then falsely claiming that the cryptocurrency purchase transactions were unauthorized, deceiving the U.S. banks and the Cryptocurrency Exchange into reversing those transactions and redepositing the money into the bank accounts that the Defendants controlled. The Defendants then withdrew the money from the bank accounts.

August 23, 2022:

Nate Chastain’s lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the government’s indictment charging him with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the OpenSea “insider trading” case. Nate’s lawyers raise two very novel theories. Here’s a thread breaking it down. Twitter Thread

First, let’s set the ground rules. Fed. R. Crim. Pro. 12(b) permits the defense to seek dismissal before trial of any charges brought by the government on the theory that even if all facts alleged in the indictment are “true”, those facts are insufficient to prove the elements of the crime charged. 

Nate’s lawyers argue that in bringing this “first-of-its-kind prosecution”, the government 
“posit[s] broad assertions of insider trading, property theft, and money laundering” legal theories that “are contrary to years of settled precedent and are a transparent effort to plant a flag in the blockchain industry.”

August 24, 2022:

“John Doe” Summons Issued Seeking Identities of U.S. Taxpayers. The subpoena seeks information about U.S. taxpayers who conducted at least the equivalent of $20,000 in transactions in cryptocurrency between 2016 and 2021. DOJ Link

“Taxpayers who transact with cryptocurrency should understand that income and gains from cryptocurrency transactions are taxable,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “The information sought by the summons approved today will help to ensure that cryptocurrency owners are following the tax laws.”