In many cases in which valuables including funds are seized by authorities in the process of conducting a search or carrying out an investigation, it is relatively obvious that physical money and even money inside bank accounts will be transferred out of the accused criminal’s personal possession.
Will I Lose Those Funds if I’m Accused of a Crime?
But what happens when that stash is in bitcoin? In a New Jersey courtroom recently, a former computer science major was forced to forfeit the total value of his bitcoin account because of alleged cyber attacks. At the time that it was seized, that bitcoin account was estimated to be worth $180,000. Today, however, that bitcoin cash is more than US$1.3 million.
More Criminal Cases Leading to Seized Bitcoin
A U.S. attorney in New York recently seized $48.2 million in bitcoin in connection with a money laundering drug scheme for an operation connected with the Silk Road. U.S. attorneys are also taking action in Utah regarding a multi-million-dollar drug ring that allegedly has to do with bitcoin valued at $500,000 when the owner was arrested a year ago. This price has now exceeded $8.5 million.
More Online Crime Monies in Bitcoin
One of the most common types of assets to use in the digital world when crimes are accused is bitcoin. Bitcoin values have skyrocketed tremendously, meaning that this has led to major windfalls for federal authorities when these funds are officially forfeited. The U.S. Justice Department has not yet shared how much money bitcoin has generated in terms of forfeiture.
Fighting Back When Accused of a Crime
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.