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.
Allegedly "opened accounts with the Cryptocurrency Exchange, frequently using photos of fake U.S. passports, fake drivers’ licenses, and stolen personal identifying information. The Cryptocurrency Exchange accounts were linked to bank accounts that the Defendants controlled" "The Defendants used money that had been deposited into the linked bank accounts, frequently through a series of cash deposits made using ATMs, to purchase cryptocurrency."
That cryptocurrency was then quickly transferred to other cryptocurrency wallets outside of the Cryptocurrency Exchange that were controlled by the Defendants and their co-conspirators." "After the cryptocurrency was transferred, the Defendants made telephone calls to the U.S. banks during which they falsely represented that the cryptocurrency purchases were unauthorized, leading the banks to reverse the transactions."